How Street Art Improves The Living And Working Conditions In An Urban Surrounding: The Impact Of Street Art On Our Lives
Graffiti has always been at the centre of controversy and will probably remain there for a long time. By it’s nature underground, it doesn’t cater to typical artistic circles. As an underground scene most people don’t know a lot about the scene unless they are involved in it. Understandably, this makes it difficult from an outside perspective to understand what they’re seeing and find the art in it. Graffiti is at it’s most noticeable when it comes in the form of intrusive tags sprayed over public areas and the outrage this causes obscures the heart of the art form.
Where people say graffiti is a symptom of crime ridden areas and poverty, it’s more honest to say that poor areas tend not to look as nice as richer ones and the people who live in them are rarely content to live in drab, industrial environments without taking some of it back for themselves. Most graffiti artists argue that their pieces not only add to the culture and unique look of the areas but also cover up the harsher elements of where they live. The only people who think bland, concrete apartment blocks look better than ones covered in paint and murals are people who don’t have to live in them.
Street art is mainly the product of disadvantaged areas so it follows that most of those who grow up in the scene are those who wouldn’t have the resources to get involved in other, more costly forms of art. For a lot of graffiti artists, street art isn’t their medium of choice, it’s their only choice.
Many who are anti-graffiti say that most people would be turned off an area by the graffiti but even this outlook is changing. The MIT project ‘Place Pulse’ was set up to define what makes people see a neighbourhood as safer or more dangerous. The data they collected suggests that though graffiti tags lead people to see an area as lower class, street art in general resulted in positive feedback about the areas.
One of the often mentioned reasons for allowing graffiti is that it draws interest from people to an area. Adding to the desirability and gentrification of neighbourhoods, for example. If graffiti typically happens in poorer areas, this interest can have large economic impacts that can be incredibly beneficial to the neighbourhood. The type of people who are drawn to areas with graffiti are generally the kind of ‘taste makers’ that marketers want to cater to. This is the case with places like Soho, New York which has some of the highest rates of graffiti vandalism in addition to being the home to a lot.
Cities with graffiti tend to be cultural and artistic hubs, according to economist Elizabeth Currid-Halkett. A big graffiti scene tends to be an indicator that the city has a lot of other creative outlets. There is a lot of debate over what this means. Is it the case that an already creative city will develop a graffiti scene, or is it that a city which doesn’t cater to art will do more to stamp out graffiti than turn it into something? The fact that you can find graffiti in any city suggests it’s the second one. The scene exists everywhere, you only really see it if the city makes room for it. Whether that room is areas of wasteground that provide artists with a blank canvas or places specifically dedicated to graffiti, the positives are all there if you look for them.
This is how we think street art improves the living and working conditions in an urban surrounding.
Let us know what you think and if there’s more you would add.