Streetfilms re-introduces Zozo, the purple livable streets hero!

Street­films is rein­tro­duc­ing their Jim-Hen­son-designed, child-friend­ly urban plan­ning mas­cot: Zozo, the pur­ple liv­able streets hero. As described on meet​zo​zo​.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, meet​zo​zo​.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!

KochAndGonzoIt’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.”)

Pho­to, top: Street­films; bot­tom: mup​pet​.wikia​.com