The Benefits of Graffiti to Communities Around the World

Ethan Gawronski, Writer

There are both positive and negative effects from graffiti in every environment. Graffiti is used in many different ways, from writing a simple stylized nickname on a stop sign or bench to spray painting a mural that can take up an entire wall spanning across 35 feet. The point of graffiti, in my opinion, is to serve as another form of expression from an artist through a very unique form. 

The benefits of having graffiti in certain urban areas is that it can increase property value. As a study from the University of Warwick states, “Street art in London is generally now associated with improving economic conditions of urban neighbourhoods.” This improves economic conditions because of how new cafés and restaurants open up, which then brings in the colossal community of art lovers who adore the idea of street art. Even the people who once saw graffiti as a crime and vandalism now look at it and think, “Is it worth anything?” In a BBC interview, street artist Jadryk Brown stated that “rich people don’t find it scary any more. Nothing’s scary if money could be involved.”

Another great thing about graffiti is that it can drastically increase tourism in certain areas. Social media, like Instagram, can make a simple photo of street art (like a detailed drawing or “Wild Style,” a graffiti font) blow up all over social media, causing certain people to want to visit that spot and get a quick picture with it so they can post it. People need places to eat and sleep when they are visiting these graffiti sites, which leads to them going to restaurants, cafés, hotels, Air BnBs, etc. As a result of this, the thought that comes to mind for those who run these establishments is that they can gain money from these art pieces bringing in so many tourists. 

In conclusion, while graffiti can be great in certain communities, as it can help it both financially and increase popularity of a certain area, there are always going to be a few people that don’t see graffiti as street art but as a crime instead. That’s their opinion, and while you may not agree with it, it does not mean you cannot change it.