Street Messages and Creative Placemaking / Report

Small Grants Scheme

During Summer/Autumn 2015, the Young Urbanists ran a Small Grants Scheme that aimed to support projects that deliver tangible outputs and benefits to the Young Urbanist Network within the subject of urbanism. After a call for submissions and a three-part application process, three inspiring and ambitious projects from YU members were awarded Small Grants to facilitate their innovative thinking. You can follow the Twitter conversation from the Scheme through the #YUgrants hashtag.

Street Messages and Creative Placemaking
Small Grant recipient: Claire Malaika Tunnacliffe

Urban street art is a powerful tool in reflecting the urban experience, acting as a commentary on the everyday. This project presented an argument in defense of it as an artistic and social movement. It revealed the power of repurposing public space through experimental interventions, by exploring urban street art as a tool for closing relational gaps between people within the everyday setting of the street.

The project was unique in that it was seeking to explore the qualitative impact of urban street art and how its messages are absorbed into the everyday. The importance of this research project was to encourage creative thinking about our cities, urban planning and placemaking. In this way, it creates an opportunity to tap into the emotional wellbeing of the city, exploring the tangible links between place, space and being. In creating a body of work around the reactive nature of street art in situ to its environment, themes emerged on the lived experience. The research process engaged others to think critically about their society through the lens of urban street art, and by reacting to it, activate passersby into re-engaging with their environment.

The outputs of the Street Messages and Creative Placemaking project included a series of walking workshops, an online platform for sharing images of urban street art, and an event/exhibition for the Young Urbanist Network hosted in October 2015 by YU Sponsors Space Syntax. By documenting the walks through photography, mapping and short films, as well as written accounts through the creative placemaker blog, Claire was able to share her thoughts and experiences of the project, alongside the screening of a short film (posted below) and interactive exhibition at this final event.

You can find photos from the event on the Academy’s Flickr page here.


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