Haiku Contest

Neponset Greenway in fall

Photo by Selmon Rafey

What we experience while commuting or simply moving around the city stays with us and we can express it through art. Poetry can help us understand a perception of a space, but also to create new realities, or even share some useful guidelines. Thus, what better way to express our experience of the streets or ideas to improve such experience than with a Haiku!

Haikus are a type of Japanese verse that is composed by three unrhymed lines. The first and third line have five syllables while the middle line has seven syllables. They are also usually accompanied by one or two images that describe the haikus content.

Let’s explore together new creative ways to advocate for our streets!

Help us celebrate the streets! To participate do one or more of the following:

  • Write your own Transportation Haiku and share it! You can tell your own experience, foster street safety, or talk about diverse mobilities. We leave the Haiku content to you. Can’t wait to see what you all create.
  • Look for existing haikus and share one that resonates with your experience of the streets. Don’t forget to mention/quote/tag the author, so they receive the credit for their work.
  • Create one or two images to accompany your verse.

Want to know more about Haikus? Check this explanation from the poetry foundation.

Here there is an example of a street related Haiku: 

Street lamp reflection
In a parking lot’s black ice—
Small steps, still I slip

- Calvin Olsen, 2018

You can find more at the author’s project TEN THOUSAND HAIKU

So you don’t speak English? Well, no problem, Haikus come in all languages! Let’s not forget they are originally in Japanese. See this example in Spanish:

Puerta del coche
Se abre al ciclista.
Un freno duro

- John Mose 2011


You should definitely check out the rest of this cool Haiku project done by Mose in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation.

Finally, let your own creativity flow! Do NOT use this Haiku generator. However, it’s always good to have some sources of inspiration.

How do I get credit for participating?

Follow the instructions and share your participation with us on social media! Tag us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and use the hashtags #TourDeStreets2020 and/or #TourYourStreets to enter in your submission for points. If you don’t have social media, you can also email your submissions to [email protected]. You will receive 1 point for each activity you participate in, and participation in certain activities is eligible for prizes (ex. street haiku contest).

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