First of It’s Kind Legislation: Melbourne’s 2014 “Graffiti Art Management Plan”

Royal Parade underpass, Melbourne.

In 2014 the City of Melbourne, Australia released its “Graffiti Management Plan”—described by many as first-of-its-kind legislation because it distinguished between “unwanted graffiti applied without permission” and “street art…with the blessing of property owners.”

Here are the basics:

  • The Plan specifically defines tags and “throw-ups” as a types of street art.
  • It doesn’t discuss preservation: “Street art is ephemeral. Protection of street art is not practical.”
  • And specifically states that the city will only censor work that could “offend a reasonable person.”
  • It zones “heavily pedestrianized areas” as places where street art will be removed.
  • But it protects the street art on Union Lane, Rutledge Lane, and Hosier Lane, as designated legal street art walls.
  • It also continually funds new murals in strategically chosen areas.

Education

Melbourne also offers a graffiti education program in all its primary and secondary schools, and facilitates a Street Art Mentoring program that teaches kids 13-25 about “the benefits of and opportunities for legal artwork.” Fifteen secondary and nine primary schools have participated in the program since it began in 2008.


Sources

About the author

Lindsey
Lindsey

Lindsey Mancini is a digital editor and emerging street art scholar investigating public art's potential as a transformative societal element. She is currently an adjunct professor of contemporary art at Eastern Connecticut State University, and from 2015-2018 served as the digital content editor for the Peabody Award-winning nonprofit Art21. Her blog, the Arrow, is an editorial component of her documentary nonprofit project ArtAround, an original open-source web platform archiving the art in our shared spaces.

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About the Author

Lindsey

Lindsey

Lindsey Mancini is a digital editor and emerging street art scholar investigating public art's potential as a transformative societal element. She is currently an adjunct professor of contemporary art at Eastern Connecticut State University, and from 2015-2018 served as the digital content editor for the Peabody Award-winning nonprofit Art21. Her blog, the Arrow, is an editorial component of her documentary nonprofit project ArtAround, an original open-source web platform archiving the art in our shared spaces.