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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).

Asphalt Art Initiative Expands in Europe

Watch the video in French, German, Italian, Polish, or Spanish.


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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.

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 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.

Grants

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.

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.

Safety Study

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.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Ground Mural in Pittsburgh
Asphalt Art Initiative project at Baum Grove in Pittsburgh, PA, Friendship Community Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Safety Study

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.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Ground Mural in Pittsburgh
Asphalt Art Initiative project at Baum Grove in Pittsburgh, PA, Friendship Community Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies


News Highlights


Follow the Data Podcast: Making Streets Safer with Asphalt Art