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UAL Research Online

Greening not cleaning graffiti walls

Willcocks, Marcus and Gamman, Lorraine (2011) Greening not cleaning graffiti walls. In: Anti Graffiti Association Conference 2011, 11th - 12th May 2011, Islington Assembly Hall, London. (Unpublished)

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Willcocks, Marcus and Gamman, Lorraine

“Graffiti” describes many more varied types of mark making
and creative strategies than the words “vandalism”,
“criminal damage” and “anti social behaviour” imply.
Yet many authorities and place managers are forced to
engage with the less varied end of this spectrum in the vast
majority of instances. Significant public funds are spent
internationally cleaning up graffiti via “zero tolerance”
approaches. Whilst cleaning is effective, sometimes the
problem moves or recurs, rather than being permanently
eliminated by painting walls white. What comes first? Is
it the intention to paint or the temptation provided by a
clean wall? There is no clear answer but instead a catand-
mouse scenario emerges with the added difficulty
that both “preventer” and “perpetrator” perceive the
problem in “criminal” terms. One side views the marking
of walls without permission as “vandalism” (and has the
law on their side to make this case whatever is painted).
The other perceives erasing their “art” and blankingout
public spaces without consulting on alternatives,
as “criminal damage” too. Hidden to the public is the
ongoing challenge to sustainability that graffiti brings
for many communities, via the significant fiscal and
environmental costs associated with continually removing
it. Conservative and rather out of date estimates suggest
than London alone spends in excess of £6 million per
year cleaning graffiti(1)

1.London Graffiti Assembly Investigative Committee (2002).

Official Website: http://www.theaga.org.uk/49418.html
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: design against crime as socially responsive design (SRvD), urban design, design for public space, crime prevention through environmental design
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Research Centres/Networks > Design Against Crime at the Innovation Centre (DAC)
Date: 12 May 2011
Related Websites: http://www.designagainstcrime.com
Related Websites:
Event Location: Islington Assembly Hall, London
Projects or Series: Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2012 12:12
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2012 12:12
Item ID: 3730
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/3730

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