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Public Stair Activation Project

The project creates an art installation with an app component at public stair to encourage a healthier alternative to escalator and elevator

Photo of Cristina Crespo

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it inspire the end user to lead a healthier life?

The target audience is the community/commuters served by the metro station where the stair is located. The idea inspires them to lead healthier lives by making simple decisions that have a large impact on their wellness. Aside from bringing a smile to their faces, the target audience not only engages in this social experiment but feels compelled to share the installation with friends and family through social media, showing off the new addition to their neighborhood's metro station!

The ALT305 team submitted the Stair Activation Idea which was selected by the Miami Foundation and Health Foundation of South Florida to be implemented. The project includes a series of dots that start leading people from the street, crosswalk, sidewalks and bus stops into the Brickell Area Metro Station. Once inside, a hopscotch component leads the way to the staircase, encouraging the user to use the healthier alternative to go up to the platform. The staircase is located side by side with the escalator and in front of the elevator. The entire project was designed by the ALT305 team (two young architects) within the concept of "play" using the legendary Pacman. 

The project includes an app component which prompts participants to log in and keep track of their wellness based on the amount of steps climbed and subsequently, flights of stairs taken each day. 

More on this project on:

The intent is to test the idea and have people support it for implementation in other stations and communities. 

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The idea has been recently implemented in a metro station as an experiment and the response has been amazing! It has gone viral!

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea?

There is always room to improve and we would love to make it better! Help us think how we can make this have a bigger impact on our communities and leverage technology to the very best!

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm


Join the conversation:

Photo of Laura Norvig

I like that this combines healthy activity with the environmental plus of using public transport.

Photo of Tom Short

Hello Cristina - if you haven't already seen it, you might want to check this one out, and perhaps add it to your list of references.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Cristina. Thanks for sharing your project! I love the flow leading people from outside in and to the stairs, making it fun and interactive. Would love to check out the app. Can you link it to your post? How is the app different from other fitness tracking apps in general? Building on the PacMan video game theme I wonder if you can add an element of competition to the tracking, either competing with oneself or against other commuters using social media in some way?
I recently saw a photo of a mural in a stairwell in a building in East Harlem, NYC. This was shared on the health department's "Eat Healthy, Be Active" Facebook Page and was meant to share the idea, encouraging using stairs, as you are doing.
Can you share your project in a similar way on social media in Miami? What ideas do you have to expand locally?

Photo of Cristina Crespo

Hello Bettina, Thanks for sharing this great example in Harlem!

The app is still under development but this webpage will give you an idea of what you are inquiring about. This was developed by a group of people (me included) and we won a competition with the NYC Big apps last year. It addresses exactly what you are talking about:

As for social media expansion and marketing, we were fortunate to initiate this project funded by the Miami Foundation and the Health Foundation of South Florida. Having said that. they have been giving us a lot of social media support and exposure. The Miami Foundation had professional pictures taken of the installation and they've been sharing all over twitter, Facebook and Instagram, aside from some other local related newsletters.
Please check us out:

And check out our new installation teaser!

Photo of Caio De Matos

Cristina, Congratulations for your project and thanks for sharing!

Making a regular activity more fun is definitely a great way to engage people into it, as your project shows, and there is also another great example of that regarding staircases here:

It seems to me quite logical that those art installations call people's attention and make them curious to try, but I'm curious about something that you might be able to help me, considering the experience from your project until now: Ist the effect of the art to engage people to climb the stairs still created when it's no longer something new to that person? I mean, the second time someone sees it, is this person still motivated to try it again, or is this person going back to the escalators/elevators as the curiosity is too important for the creation of this effect? That might be an important point to check, as it is relevant to developing a habit.

Photo of Cristina Crespo

Hello Caio, thanks for your comments! I absolutely agree. We've been doing periodic visits to the site and interviews to the users to gather the necessary data to asses this concern. It is true that once a product or experience loses its novelty, the pattern my shift back. Something that helps is that the elevator has been out of service! The escalator is always an option though. We will keep monitoring the usage now that a few weeks have passed and report back! Thanks.

Photo of Shane Zhao

Really cool project Cristina! I love how this project is making everyday commutes more fun and engaging for people of all ages. It reminds me of Alison's post from the Research Phase:

It'd be great to learn more about how your team is leveraging the use of technology. You mentioned that there is an app component to this idea. Can the app enable users to carry on this type of fun exercise without the physical installations in place? i.e. can the app create similar scenarios for users to participate in anywhere they are? Would love to find out how this idea can be made more portable and accessible for more people in more places!

Photo of Cristina Crespo

Hello Shane, thanks for the feedback and apologies for the delay. The app is still under development but this webpage will give you an idea of what you are inquiring about. This was developed by a group of people (me included) and we won a competition with the NYC Big apps last year. It addresses exactly what you are talking about:


Photo of Cristina Crespo

Hello everyone- Thanks for your comments and positive feedback!

Regarding the app- it is still under development but yes, the idea is that it could be used to track more wellness-related activities beyond the stair climbing. As for the installation itself, it is meant to be a social experiment to create awareness around this topic and our non-profit ALT305 is looking for the support to expand this idea into different scenarios within the city (other metro stations, public spaces, communities, etc).

Photo of André Fernandes

Really nice idea! It can also be applied on buildings, shopping malls, schools, etc.