What goes through your mind when you see a spray can?
Ok, what about a young person wearing hoodie with spray can in hand?
Chances are the image might cause a gulp or two, a familiar twinge in the stomach and probably the thought that the person is "up to no good."
What if we told you, that perhaps, before you call the police and ready the cleaning crew, that you just might benefit from what that young person is about to put up? What if we told you, that the potential art piece about to be produced just maybe lead to a few more dollars in your wallet? Everybody loves a few more dollars ;-)
You see, graffiti vandalism is currently costing you, the taxpayer, $200 million annually and that's just the modest estimation. Some sources place the figure at $1.5 billion. In this economy, that is a number we can ill afford. So what do we do about it?
Introducing Splash! That's us :) Our web based platform brings together local and international artists, their local governments, private sector and the interested public together to interact. Artists take pictures and upload their latest work giving us a peak into the inspirations behind the piece. This will develop over time to become a digital library of art pieces and artists. The artists also apply for available "free walls". These are the spaces that local governments and private businesses advertise on our platform as available to paint on. These spaces can be free or charged and this will give local governments control over spaces and are able to work with the artists directly. Government will also be able to use the data on the platform in urban planning and city development. Vibrant cities created with just a bit of innovation and a splash of colour - we are bringing both to the table.
Well, what's in it for business? And how are we saving you money exactly? Good questions... You see, graffiti is fast becoming a tourist attraction. Graffiti artists fly all over the world to put their names on walls and murals and hordes of fans and enthusiasts (tourists) follow. We have linked the free walls to popular free wifi spots in Adelaide city and traffic data to ensure that the artists that use our platform receive maximum exposure for their work. This in turn, drives tourists to these sites and all of a sudden, businesses have a new niche market to capture.
What do all these things put together give you, the taxpayer? Well, using the Splash platform, local governments will have more control over the spaces that can be used for graffiti. Artists in turn have access to these walls and this lowers the occurrence of illegal graffiti and vandalism. Lowered vandalism means cleaner streets and safer neighbourhoods. Tourists will be attracted to a city that incorporates beautiful murals and graffiti pieces in its development plans and added numbers of visitors will provide revenue for business and local councils. All these work together to lower that initial $200 million cleaning cost significantly. Data sources estimate that the current South Australian Graffiti Control Act has resulted in the lowering of number of graffiti related offences recorded by police from 4,268 in 2010-11 to 2,437 in 2013-14. How much more can be reduced using an intuitive and innovative platform?
So next time you see a young person holding a spray can, smile a little. They might be on the Splash platform and they just might be making you some money. Although, you should probably ask just to be sure :)
Graffiti can be artistic and beautiful. It presents a creative outlet for both young and old to express themselves and find camaraderie. Graffiti artists such as Banksy are world renown and have travelled the world exhibiting their art. Cities, communities and private investors often commission murals and pieces that give the artists an income and increase their international credentials. Cities such as Melbourne have become "spraycation" sites - tourist attractions due to their extensive graffiti pieces. Tourists visit from all over the world to see the attractions and provide revenue to local businesses and councils.
However, some forms of graffiti such as tagging or glass etching can be harmful to property. When graffiti is done in buildings and/or public property without permission, it defaces these places leaving the community with the task of cleaning up. The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates that illegal graffiti and similar forms of vandalism cost the Australian community about $200 million annually. Other sources estimate that the figure could be as high as $1.5 billion annually.
Other adverse effects of illegal graffiti include;
It can be unsightly and seen as a threat to quality of life and community safety. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 25% of the Australian public perceive graffiti as a neighbourhood problem.
It is a visible sign of unruliness, social decline and antisocial behaviour among young people. It is linked (correctly or incorrectly) to other crimes and youth criminal gangs.
It can have a potential implications on the long term viability of businesses and continuing investment by private sector in these affected areas. According to Graffiti Clean and Keep Australia Beautiful, graffiti vandalism costs local government and property owners $300 million each year.
There are considerable costs of cleaning and removal of graffiti including insurance and taxation costs. In Victoria, the Graffiti Removal Program has removed 2 million square meters of graffiti (estimated to cover the Melbourne Cricket Ground field about 100 times).
Data accessed with thanks, from: