Can we Still Create Beautiful Cities? 5 Reasons why Street Art Matters

In the past few decades it has become very difficult for urbanism architects to solve the problems of modern living. Most dense cities are extremely unfriendly, crowded and dirty. People no longer want to live in them. They are not encouraged to participate in the social-urban scene. This is a serious problem for architects who struggle to find plausible solutions. The question arises: Can we still create beautiful, desirable cities? The City Beautiful movement thought it found the surefire formula (which consisted of “picturesque parks, tree-lined avenues and bombastically classical civic and cultural buildings”) but it does not apply everywhere.

“To wander from a tight, dark alley into a small square with a fountain. To find yourself in a courtyard in which the line between public and private is unclear – whether in a Beijinghutong or an Italian cloister. Or the momentary transformation of a city square to a market or a fairground, these are among the real thrills of urbanity.” (Source: Planetizen)

Each city is different. It is not simply a mass of buildings, but a living organism. Some cities have beauty imposed on them, while others require a little assistance. It is not only parks and grand avenues that can change the appearance of city. The role of street-art in urban landscapes has become increasingly important. For those who still believe that street art is nothing but vandalism, we give 5 undeniable reasons why it should be embraced:

Recommended Article: Street Art Highlights of the Month: 10 Street Artists to Watch in 2014

Some city councils get it, others not so much, but tapping into the creative talent of graphic designers and street artists is one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways of rejuvenating the dullness of a concrete jungle. Street art matters!

#1 It Makes Imperfections Sparkle

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Many street artists around the world are breathing new life on buildings and urban installations that others consider ugly. Street artists don’t need incredible things because they work with what they have, and help us see the beauty in the little things. Distractify has shared some incredible examples of street art that makes imperfections sparkle. Here are a few examples:

#2 It Brightens Up the Morning Commute

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There is nothing more boring in this world than watching a series of broke-down; old buildings unravel as you commute. Gorgeous street art here and there will definitely make the morning ride to work more enjoyable for citizens. Take DOME’s gorgeous black-white and gray images as an example. He realized the possibilities of spray paint in 1995 and since then he designs and shares his work with communities from Miami, Torino, Italy and Istanbul.

#3 It Brings Nature into the City

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As much as we’d love to have a park near our flat, it is nearly impossible to provide with vegetation everywhere. The good news is that street art can take care of this problem. Take the works of Sego y Ovbal as examples. He uses fantastical beasts that and natural elements to bring walls back to life. There are also many installations that symbolize nature, or give new meaning to already existing vegetation.

#4 It Covers Dull Blind Walls

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How many blind walls (turbots) have you passed on your way to work? Probably many. One of the major issues of large cities is turbots. Street artists can give them a whole new meaning by displaying their stunning works on them. These works can question reality, adorn the building or simply add a little color to it. In the end any intervention is better than an empty, dull turbot.

#5 It uses Cracked Surfaces as Canvas

A few examples would be the whimsical street artist who turns manholes into playthings and scratched gates into sirens. There is also the infamous example of Chuck Norris’s-themed benches by Oakoak. And who could forget the funny looking sewer mouths that turn into smiley faces or the googly eyes installations?

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