Yana Zalesskaya

Yana Zalesskaya

Design and Branding Strategy MA

Cosmopolitan, and creative mindset that likes to challenge status quo to expand borders of everyday realm.

2012

Design Your City

Implementing street art inside the urban environment

Nowadays, society witnesses the increasing popularity of street art, mainly as a consequence of commercialised and over controlled urban living. Street art is a unique modern counter- cultural form of engagement with the urban realm but it is still mainly seen by the authorities as an aggressive act on the established urban system. Even though constructions and corporate billboards arguably disrespect public space more than the street artists, the question is still very widely discussed by the cities around the world:

‘Who owns public space?’, and how can a country be a true democracy without public space being actually public?

The street art trend is what happens around the world, with many exhibitions, festivals, and even whole districts dedicated to this form of art. Even though, some city authorities have already realised the potential of legitimising street art, the advantages of these public interventions are still not widely exploited. Street artists speak the language of the streets and have passion to improve dull city landscapes, but the main advantage of this form of art is an element of play and interaction between artists and citizens, extending the reach of art to a wider and more diverse audience.

London`s authorities have already implemented bottom-up governance, actively involving citizens in designing the city landscape. Therefore, taking the open-minded nature of the city`s authorities and public appreciation for street art, this research is focused on enhancing the possibilities of such a controversial form of art and the extent to which it can be applied to all manner of city regenerations and branding; but most importantly it proposes ideas on how the main target groups (local authorities, property owners, street artists, and citizens) can collaborate to develop the urban regeneration agenda around concepts of social inclusion and street art.

Overall, this research provides social and economic benefits to all stakeholders. The co- design platform will give voice to the citizens and improve the city brand policy that can help to actively engage citizens in designing their own environment, helping to create out of abandoned areas attractive ones and endorse London`s creative ambience.