urban interventions

03Aug11

urban interventionurban interventionThe difference between graffiti and urban art is a thin line. The mayor of Amsterdam wants to fight “this pollution of public spaces” by banning graffiti. At the same time there is a movement that asks for more freedom to use the public space as “free-art podia”. Both sides appeal to the quality of life to raise support for their ideas; research supports both sides. The solution might be found in creating a clean and creative environment to stimulate community involvement.  The difference of opinion is (or should be) based on the means to establish these conditions. urban artThe paradox is that the discussion about community engagement looks a lot like the corporate issue of entrepreneurship. You cannot force people to be entrepreneurial, as much as you cannot force people to be creative by standardizing the ways to express their community involvement. The discussion should not be about the rules but about the interpretation of rules. Legal certainty is a myth and an illusion as soon as you also want to adhere to the dynamics of justice and fairness. The discussion about whether graffiti is pollution or participatory art “through which publics constitute themselves and experience something extraordinary” is actually a definition of urban intervention and might be better off in the hands of the community in question. How you gather “the crowds opinion” about the esthetics of urban space might express the spirit of the community better and be a much more worthwhile a discussion than the definition of what is or is not true urban art.

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One Response to “urban interventions”


  1. 1 City Interventions: small changes, big reach | Urban Design

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