Brightening up our high streets

Having high streets which look pleasant rather than grotty should be an aim for local politicians others active in their community. There is the economic reason – businesses tend to do better. There is the safety reason – as the broken windows theory argues and evidence backs up – dealing with grime and grot helps cut crime. There is also a third reason which politicians in particular are often a bit wary of saying, but quite simply having our communities look more pleasant is a desirable end in itself. You do not have to immerse yourself in aesthetic theories to appreciate the value of appearance.

In parts of Bristol there has been some particularly good work at getting street art painted on the shutters of local shops and otherwise bare, ugly walls. This not only brightens up the area, it provides a showcase for artistic talents – and also is an effective tool against graffiti, for once shutters or a wall bear artwork produced by someone in the community, the likelihood of it being covered in tags falls sharply.

Many parts of Canada have a strong tradition of taking this further, with large murals (such as this one featuring Charlie Chaplin illustrates) and decorations to liven up the utility boxes which feature on so many pavements (such as this one from Winnipeg).

Examples of painted utility boxes in the UK are far rarer, though clever pieces of artwork are present on some such as this example in Brixton.

So it was great to see these two examples in Southwark recently, along Borough High Street:

And here also from Borough High Street is what happens when you leave a utility cabinet unadorned:

If you are a councillor, why not try to do something similar in your own patch?

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/26016 for Twitter and emails.

5 Comments

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarP Benson 16th Apr - 7:42pm
    How anyone can be proud to work with IDS is beyond me.The man who has wasted a fortune on a unworkable UC.His WP is next...
  • User AvatarJoeBourke 16th Apr - 7:35pm
    There is a relatively simply way of delivering £2500 financial support to university students, apprentices and others undertaking FE or skills training i.e. a universal...
  • User Avatarg 16th Apr - 7:23pm
    JohnTilly, I suspect Michael White is referring to the various stories that have appeared on the news website Exaro. This is run by an ex-Guardian...
  • User AvatarRC 16th Apr - 7:23pm
    @ Malc "Not all of us had the advantage of higher education" A decent school teaches pupils to use apostrophes properly by the age of...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 16th Apr - 7:21pm
    @ Simon Shaw, Clearly we are approaching this from different angles. I am approaching from the angle of a voter who believed that the politicians...
  • User Avatarmalc 16th Apr - 7:12pm
    RC: "And why can’t some people who are apparently obsessed about higher education use apostrophes correctly?" Not all of us had the advantage of higher...