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News - 4 September 2009

Canadian study concludes that Graffiti walls don't work

Legal graffiti walls in Ottowa do not reduce the amount of graffiti, according to a report by city. The report recommends that no more such walls be established.

A report on the city’s graffiti management program included the results of a one-year study of the city’s three legal graffiti walls and the surrounding areas.

In 2008, the city unveiled a new graffiti management bylaw that took a zero-tolerance approach to graffiti on all properties in the city, with vandals incurring fines of up to $610. The graffiti arts community fought back and won the right to keep the legal graffiti walls.

“The results of monitoring the three existing legal graffiti walls for a one-year period indicate that the legal graffiti walls do not reduce graffiti by providing a legal location,” the report said.

But Gloucester-Southgate Councillor Diane Deans, chair of the community and protective services committee, said she likes the idea of legal graffiti walls and thinks the program could be expanded over time. “They’ve been successful where we have them,” she said. “Some of the murals change every couple of days, so obviously people are enjoying being there and doing graffiti art in those locations.”

Read the rest of this item from The Ottawa Citizen here

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