Is street art good or bad for you?

Harding, Liliana (2016) Is street art good or bad for you? In: ACEI 2016: 19th International Conference on Cultural Economics, 2016-06-21 - 2016-06-24.

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Economic growth is often achieved within a monolithic, grey urban environment, while allowing for decaying facades and deteriorating public spaces in old city centres. As artists provide a colourful facelift to a variety of locations and urban infrastructure, cities have learnt to channel the creative capacity of street art, originally banned under the broad term of graffiti. The public good aspect of street art is particularly interesting in its dimensions of wide accessibility on one hand, and the ability to generate controversy on the other hand. This paper explores the case for supporting street art, even as opinion on associated forms of graffiti remains divided. We question the influence of public cultural on the wellbeing of various demographic groups, and explore the learning process involved in accepting street art as a public good. The willingness to pay towards the provision of public art is evaluated, controlling for exposure to street art in the evaluation of individual preferences. The most relevant dimensions of non-user value of public art are finally revisited in the context of street art. In our survey of 970 people through field based interviews, culture is shown to increase wellbeing, and education remains the strongest individual characteristic linked with the appreciation of public culture. We also find that those exposed to street art are prepared to pay more towards its provision. Thereby, the link between education and individual support for street art - as a form of controversial public art - is shown to be stronger only where individuals encounter street art in person. It reflects an effort and learning process towards the consumption of novel cultural goods, but also the potential for increasing tolerance in the wider public through an ongoing exposure to street art. The perceived value of public art amongst the working age population in our sample is linked primarily to the potential of new cultural goods to drive creativity. Accepting the role of a ‘creative class’ to successful urban economies, public art itself should hence be seen as a promotor of local economies and wellbeing alike.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: value of culture,public art,wellbeing,novelty consumption,creative economies
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2016 01:07
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2020 08:54

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