Asphalt Art Guide | Bloomberg

Type: Research Guide

Status: Published October 2019

In October 2019, Bloomberg Associates and Street Plans released the Asphalt Art Guide. The Guide is a free resource for cities looking to transform their streets and public spaces with art. It features over two dozen case studies highlighting successful plaza and roadway art activations around the world, and a how-to section for cities interested in undertaking their own projects.

While cities incorporate art into public spaces in a variety of ways, the focus of this initiative is what we’re calling asphalt art: visual interventions on roadways (intersections and crosswalks), pedestrian spaces (plazas and sidewalks), and vertical infrastructure (utility boxes, traffic barriers and underpasses). 

The research was led by the Street Plans and documented a wide variety of project types and champions and identified key considerations and best practices needed to undertake these kinds of projects. Among the projects featured are some of Street Plans’ own work, including Rue Vendome and the Coxe Avenue redesign. The guide draws on the experience of these successful projects and addresses topics like community involvement, liability concerns, design development, materials, and project implementation. The best practices offered in this guide provide the necessary insight and advice that will enable project teams to ultimately improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and bring communities together through asphalt art.

In addition to the guide, Bloomberg Philanthropies will also be awarding grants to 10 U.S. cities looking to implement similar projects. See more about the Asphalt Art Initiative in this Curbed Article, and in the Asphalt Art Website.