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As the world celebrates International Programmer’s Day, Lithuania’s capital city has hit upon a distinctly 21st Century way to commemorate the day – by introducing a dedicated phone lane for pedestrians who just can’t put their smartphones down, a press release from Go Vilnius states.
Created as a way to celebrate and honour programmers everywhere, and falling on the 256th day of the year after the number of unique values within a byte, International Programmer’s Day is the one day of the year when we say thank you to the developers and programmers who have done so much to improve the world we live in. Becoming only the 4th city in the world with a dedicated mobile lane, Vilnius follows in the footsteps of Chongqing, Washington and Antwerp in offering pedestrians high-speed internet access and a safe space to surf and walk. “Vilnius is a true technology city. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all IT companies in Lithuania and the capital on Programmer’s Day. The IT sector is one of the fastest growing and promising sectors in Vilnius. Its employees are quick, smart and hungry for innovation – just like the city we all live in. We have been consistently punching above our weight thanks to our advanced IT infrastructure, which includes the world’s fastest public wi-fi”, says Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius.
Built on Vokiečių Street, deep in the heart of Vilnius, the 300 metre dual-lane phone lane was conceived with dual purposes in mind: to keep pedestrians safe when they’re glued to their phones and to celebrate the importance of programmers in our day-to-day lives. Vilnius’ brand-new mobile lane hopes to finally give IT professionals the recognition they deserve in society. Vilnius doesn’t want to stop there, at the same time sending a clear message globally and opening its doors to talent from abroad. Lithuania is known for it’s widely developed infrastructure and the project is poised to be a success among those who ‘scroll and stroll’. With 70 centres employing over 15,000 employees, most of which are based in the capital Vilnius, Lithuania’s ICT industry has grown by 20% in the past three years. Beyond this, Lithuania has the fastest public WIFI in the world and with the highest internet bandwidth in CEE. It’s a bold plan with big ambitions. Artist Žygimantas Kudirka, whose unique creations are emblazoned across the mobile lane certainly feels positive about the whole enterprise: “If all of us commented on articles while outdoors, the Internet would be full of joy. Go ahead, you’re in the mobile lane!” For this project Vilnius municipality teamed up with American software development company Devbridge Group, that is the initiator of the idea.