The Dialogues with Graffiti for 21st Century Cities Network (GDN) aimed to explore and exchange diverse approaches to graffiti within and between communities (of practice, of interest and of geography). The network aimed to identify resource efficient and contextually and culturally appropriate responses to graffiti.
The Dialogues with Graffiti for 21st Century Cities (‘Graffiti Dialogues’) Network (GDN) coordinated by DACRC at CSM, during 2010-11 aimed to explore and exchange diverse approaches to graffiti within and between communities (of practice, of interest and of geography). The network aimed to identify resource efficient and contextually and culturally appropriate responses to graffiti. Also, to figure out what needs to be done in terms of research and practice to support achievement of this aim and to set up a shared online platform and invite diverse actors and communities to exchange experiences, insights and exemplars.
Three workshops provided a forum to share insights and stimulate debate on innovating new responses to the criminal and creative practices of graffiti, involving diverse stakeholders in informing both crime prevention and city regeneration strategies.
The project has established a network of actors within a community of interest that relates to graffiti, including diverse communities of practice. It brought together authorities and duty holders of the urban realm; crime prevention experts; material science practitioners; community engagement specialists; academics; artists and other creative practitioners, as well as community ‘champions’.
The workshops identified some diverse cases from an extensive and growing pool of creative initiatives and strategies that have both granted voice to, and had some success in mediating conflict between, diverse stakeholders in relation to their use of public space (e.g. those who view an instance of graffiti as art and those who view it as criminal damage). The network has revealed:
• Materials, Policy and Sustainability: There is little evidence to support the social, environmental or economic sustainability of current approaches to assessment, prevention, policing and cleaning graffiti. Also that approaches are evaluated using disparate metrics.
• Evaluation: There is an urgent need for diverse practitioners to collaborate in the development of common methods to evaluate interventions for restorative, regenerative, or other positive (or negative) outcomes, in ways that are accessible to diverse communities of interest and practice.
• Agonism: An opportunity to work with network members to prototype social and physical spaces that facilitate open contradictory dialogues within, and about ‘public’ spaces.