Lego, bike lanes, and normalizing empathy

February 1, 2021

I just came across this article over at The Verge about a regional councilor from the Netherlands and their quest to convince Lego, the toy maker, to include bike lanes to their brick-made cities.

Bike Lanes proposal by Marcel Steeman

As a cyclist myself who is a big fan of having bike lanes everywhere, I find this story quite fascinating. I also can't help but think about how there is so much more to this story, as it underlines the importance of proper representation of civil causes and human rights, even on toys.

"In the end, I just want a worldwide generation to grow up with a sustainable, healthy and above all safe alternative to the car-centered world we live in,” Steeman said. “And there is actually no bigger city on earth to start that revolution than Lego City."

The idea of having generations of kids growing exposed to important topics such as environmental causes is not novel, but to have it materialize into everyday consumption objects, such as toys and media, sets a new standard for normalizing and increasing empathy. They, after all, will eventually grow up and become the ones who shape and define the environments we live in, whether that's physical or digital.

As you can imagine, I've already added my support to Marcel's idea, I think it's fantastic and should become a reality. I'm also committed to doing my part and promote empathy on the work I do every day.