An effort to enliven the public realm in Walsall Town Centre has had a surprising impact, reaching media outlets around the world.
In our June newsletter we ran the story of the public response to Walsall’s giant, plant pots, which drew a comparison with portals that connect levels in the popular computer game Super Mario Brothers.
What was merely a passing remark by a resident on Twitter was picked up by a number of influential gaming sites with The Verge asking ‘Who needs Super Nintendo World when an English town looks like this?’
In a world of viral media, the idea began to spread like wildfire. At the last count, the story of Walsall’s giant, green flower pots has appeared in 23 countries. Though local press had run largely negative stories, the sentiment across the world was 70% positive or neutral. A calculation of the advertising value equivalent is in the region of £3.5 million.
A public realm strategy for Walsall Town Centre is due to be published soon and though the council isn’t anticipating the same levels of world media interest, at least they’ll have heard of Walsall, however potty the original story might have been.