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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).


Follow the Data Podcast: Making Streets Safer with Asphalt Art


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The Guide

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.

Underground at Ink Block in Boston, MA. Mural by Silvia López Chavez. Photo by @Rediovision
Underground at Ink Block in Boston, MA. Mural by Silvia López Chavez. Photo by @Rediovision.
Butterfly mural in Asheville, NC, by Sound Mind Creative. Photo by Justin Mitchell.
Butterfly mural in Asheville, NC, by Sound Mind Creative. Photo by Justin Mitchell.

Grants

The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is supporting pilot projects in U.S. cities to demonstrate the impact of asphalt art projects and encourage cities to develop their own processes for implementing these low-cost activations effectively. Sixteen winning cities were announced in June 2020 with projects installed in 2020 and throughout 2021. Applications for the second round of the Initiative closed April 30, 2021.