Six Melbourne inner-city councils are taking a collaborative approach in the ongoing fight
Urban Canvas, a project part of the Inner South Metropolitan Mayors Forum (ISMMF), will
see new art created and graffiti vandalism removed in the Cities of Bayside, Boroondara,
Glen Eira, Kingston, Port Phillip and Stonnington on Victorian Government and corporate
third-party assets from post boxes, tram stops and substations.
Urban Canvas is funded by the Department of Treasury and Finance’s Community Support
Fund with $1.98 million split equally between the six participating councils over two years to help remove graffiti, or prevent graffiti vandalism through installation of unique street art.
The first phase of the project took place in November and saw 75 artists come together to
create murals along the St Kilda Junction tram stop, reinvigorating a series of subway walls
and road sidings owned by Yarra Trams and VicRoads.
Usually, councils can’t remove graffiti or touch assets owned by the Victorian Government
and third parties, such as utilities suppliers and transport providers.
Under the Urban Canvas project, however, government agencies and companies including
Yarra Trams, Telstra, VicRoads, Australia Post, Citipower, South East Water and VicTrack
have given the councils permission to remove graffiti and commission art for their assets.
As well as providing a proactive approach to tackling unsightly graffiti in public spaces, the
project provides employment opportunities for many Melbourne artists.
New street art makes these spaces feel safer and more connected through a shared
appreciation of what makes each city unique.
Port Phillip Council completed 4493 graffiti removal requests in the 2020-2021 financial year, which included the removal of 24,810 square metres of graffiti across the City. These figures include three months where limited removals could take place due to lockdown restrictions.
Now with the ability to address this vandalism to third-party assets, the Urban Canvas
project allows councils to add another string to the bow in the ongoing battle of eliminating
graffiti from our cities.