Art has always been able to move people in certain ways, whether for better or worse.
When vandalism is paired with litter, broken windows, and other signs of disobedience, it influences people to act out.
According to Live Science, graffiti causes people to litter and stealing in neighborhoods. The article mentions the theory that suggests that signs like broken windows, graffiti, and littler can lead people to acting disobediently. This comes from New York’s “Quality of Life Campaign” where vandalism and litter were removed and crime rates dropped.
Even with signs posted, people still won’t follow the rules. Kees Keizer, the head of the team at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, conducted the experiment. In an article in New Scientist, Keizer said, Broken window theory says that if there are broken windows in houses, it will lead to more disorder and a degrading neighborhood.” While the theory dates back to 1982, there isn’t any solid proof to back the theory until now.
Toronto has its own way of managing graffiti. The city has a plan to support graffiti and street artists, while getting rid of tagging and other vandalism. StreetART Toronto is a program that develops, supports, and promotes street to bring character to different neighborhoods. People can have murals or street art on their buildings through applying for an art exemption, otherwise the owners will be faced with injustice.
The Globe and Mail reports, “In major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, property owners are required by law to remove illegal markings.” The article goes on to say that if the tagging is not dealt with, the building owners will have to pay fines through property taxes.
While there’s an artist directory, it’s blank. A curious thing considering there are so many artists in the city.
Crime rates have decreased in Toronto, but there is no certainty if it’s related to graffiti or not.