Asphalt artworks

More colourful, more vibrant, safer: Urban design is transforming streets into canvases, making them more than just surfaces for driving or walking on. By Elke Hildebrandt


3D road safety

In the small town of Ísafjörður in Iceland, a 3D zebra crossing appears to float above the asphalt. The optical illusion slows motorists down and makes crossing the street safer for pedestrians. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies/Jason Alden

Colourful creations

Examples of the distinctive designs funded by the Asphalt Art Initiative appeared on the streets of London in November 2021. The initiative aims to revitalise public spaces and improve street safety.


Motivating movement

In support of Hamburg’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics, the entrance to Jungfernstieg suburban rail station was transformed into a running track. The track was actually used as part of the city’s marathon course, with runners running down one staircase and up the other.

Kulturfabrik KUFA Lyss/Thomas Hässig

Smooth rotation

Roundabouts slow traffic down. In the town of Lyss in the Swiss canton of Bern, a roundabout designed to resemble a turntable delights DJs and vinyl fans.

Title image: Kulturfabrik KUFA Lyss/Thomas Hässig

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