Friday Fun: Ceci N’est Pas une Rue

When allowing a crowd to decide the name of something important, make sure to add a layer of self-control.

1 minute read

August 24, 2018, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Tour et Taxis, Thurn en Taxis

CapturePB / Shutterstock

The city of Brussels recently crowd-sourced a naming process for 28 streets in the Belgian capital, and it went a lot better than other crowd-sourced naming processes have gone since the dawn of Boaty McBoatface.

"The city crowdsourced the names as part of an ongoing regeneration project in the Tour & Taxis district—a formerly industrial area now set to become one of the city’s cultural and residential meccas," reports Edmund Heaphy.

"After receiving nearly 1,400 suggestions from the public, the final list was chosen by a jury of city officials, historians, and the site’s property developer, Extensa," according to Heaphy, so the process included a check on the worst tendencies of the Internet mob.

Still, the jury seemed capable of a hint of humor. Included on the list are lots of mentions of food, one to beer, and another to Belgian artist René Magritte’s most famous surrealist paintings. The latter homage would be paid in a street called Ceci n’est pas une rue (This is not a street).

More coverage of the naming process is available from Jennifer Rankin, writing for The Guardian.

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