Streetfilms is reintroducing their Jim-Henson-designed, child-friendly urban planning mascot: Zozo, the purple livable streets hero. As described on meetzozo.com, “Zozo makes friends wherever he goes. Zozo loves to talk to people about walking, biking, using transit and making a better, happier city. As New York becomes more livable, the more Zozos will come back to join him.” (Yipes!)
Streetfilms, an organization that produces short films about transportation around the world, is now bringing Zozo back to where he once belonged. Although originally designed and developed last year, the project–which includes a series of vignettes, coloring pages, and teaching curriculum–never gained a large following because it’s creator, the Livable Streets Education project, is no longer operating. The 10 Zozo vignettes are meant to teach children about the importance of street safety, as well as the benefits of walking, cycling, and using public transportation. And, although meant for children, these videos will make everyone laugh.
To help Streetfilms spread the word about Zozo, watch their videos on Vimeo, print out coloring book pages at the project’s website, meetzozo.com, and talk to your kids and your friends about the project. Streetfilms also documented the creation of Zozo project in their short documentary “The Search for the Zozo.” Check it out!
It’s worth noting that NYC has a unique history of civic-minded Henson creatures, as can be seen in this photo of the late Mayor Ed Koch and the muppet Gonzo at a press conference. (The mayor remarked, “If he can also balance a budget, I’ll hire him.”)