Supplement Feature - April 2009
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Site Solutions

Designing & Outfitting Your Park

By Sue Marquette Poremba

Stop Graffitists in Their Tracks

Graffiti and vandalism will always be a problem, but if you take the right steps, you can go a long way toward preventing graffiti artists and vandals from getting a foothold in your park:

  • Community involvement is key. People who care about their community park will do a lot to prevent problems, and will report them promptly when they do occur. A friends-of-the-park program can also help.
  • Blank, smooth surfaces are attractive to graffitists, as well as lighter colors and highly visible surfaces, according to The Project for Public Spaces.
  • A dense planting near the wall can make it difficult to get close.
  • Good lighting acts as a deterrent to vandals, and allows security personnel to keep an eye on things.
  • Dummy cameras and motion detectors are an inexpensive means of prevention.
  • Vandal-resistant materials are essential in areas prone to heavy abuse. Plastic lumber is a good alternative to wood, and protective coatings are available that make it easier to remove graffiti when it does occur.
  • Encourage occasional sweeps by the police or uniformed park rangers.
  • Paint your own mural on large surface areas, such as restroom walls.