The City encourages creative expression through street art when property owners and businesses are active participants. These collaborations can result in beautiful and complex murals that brighten up our streets. Examples of these great feature walls include the alley mural on Whyte Ave and 104 Street and the Swirls Mural on the Varscona Theatre.
Some consider what we call graffiti to be an art form. But make no mistake about it: it is defacement of private or public property. 94 per cent of all graffiti in Edmonton falls into the category of tagging, where vandals paint their names or symbols on public or private property without getting consent from the owner or the City. This type of graffiti vandalism is illegal. Once graffiti gets established, it tends to attract more of the same, and contribute to property looking like an eyesore.
The City needs residents to help tackle problem graffiti. You can report unwanted graffiti by calling 311 or using the app to identify the location of the tagging. If your private property has been targeted, you can remove the graffiti yourself or apply to the City’s Professional Graffiti Cleaning Program, which offers up to $750 of assistance to property owners who’ve experienced vandalism. If you plan to get professional cleaning assistance, don’t try to clean the graffiti yourself first – this can actually make it harder for the professionals to remove the paint. For more information, go to www.edmonton.ca/graffiti.
However you choose to deal with graffiti on your property, be sure to deal with it quickly. You can proactively protect against graffiti vandalism by keeping your property maintained and well-lit; vandals are less likely to graffiti properties that appear to be well looked after. The combined efforts of all Edmontonians can help reduce the amount of graffiti in our city.
If you have any questions about any City issue, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-496-8146, or follow me on Twitter @ben_hen