Asphalt Art Initiative
Helping cities use art and community engagement to improve street safety and revitalize public space.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative responds to the growing number of cities around the world embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to activate their streets.
While cities incorporate art into public spaces in a variety of ways, the focus of this initiative is what we’re calling asphalt art: visual interventions on roadways (intersections and crosswalks), pedestrian spaces (plazas and sidewalks), and vertical infrastructure (utility boxes, traffic barriers, and underpasses).
Asphalt Art Initiative Expands in Europe
Watch the video in French, German, Italian, Polish, or Spanish.
In October 2019, we released the Asphalt Art Guide, produced by our pro bono consulting arm, Bloomberg Associates. The Guide features over two dozen case studies highlighting successful plaza and roadway art activations around the world, and a how-to section for cities interested in undertaking their own projects.
The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is supporting projects in the U.S. and Europe to demonstrate the impact of asphalt art projects and encourage cities to develop their own processes for implementing these low-cost activations effectively. The first two rounds of the Asphalt Art Initiative grant program supported 42 projects in U.S. cities and 3 pilot projects in Europe, installing from 2020-2022. The Initiative is now accepting applications from European cities with populations greater than 100,000 for projects to be installed in 2023. The application deadline is July 11, 2022.
Released in March 2022, the Asphalt Art Safety Study, conducted by Sam Schwartz Consulting in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, found that city streets with asphalt art became considerably safer for pedestrians after incorporating art into roadway redesigns.