Community Cohesion

Community Cohesion

Public art in our transit stations can educate travelers about the Bay Area’s cultural resources and destinations, inspire community pride, strengthen neighborhood identity and vitality, and create a positive sense of place, purpose, and belonging.

ART CREATES A SENSE OF PLACE
Art can elevate public transit stations into welcoming, pleasurable, and memorable places that can also serve as gateways into the neighborhoods they represent.1 2 3 By building into the subways an extension of the rich arts and cultures that can be explored above ground, the underground corridors can become a vibrant nexus, connecting residents and visitors to the diversity of neighborhoods that define our region. Art can transform the stations themselves into cultural landmarks and inspiring destinations that reveal and celebrate a community’s uniqueness—empowering residents, educating visitors, and inviting people to explore the community.4 5 6 7

ART CREATES COMMUNITY IDENTITY
The integration of art into transit systems does not just beautify the station and the system as a whole, but identifies and celebrates the cultural and social qualities of the network’s local and collective community so as to infuse the locations with meaning and significance.8 Art-in-transit provides an opportunity to engage community members in collectively defining place and strengthening a sense of shared community identity. Engaging local artists and community members in this place-making process can increase cross-cultural respect, community cohesion, community pride, and local investment.9 10

ART CREATES SOCIAL COHESION AND ENCOURAGES INTERACTION
BART and Muni ridership represents the diversity of the Bay Area. Serving over 20 cities, public transit is a core Bay Area institution that crosses all regional, ethnic, income, and lifestyle communities. This vast network has the power to unite and activate our diverse communities, and with the integration of art, the underground stations can become platforms for community interaction, including cross-cultural and cross-generational interaction. These interactions, which can be made more positive through good art and design, help build respect among diverse populations, and create a sense of inclusion, belonging, and greater intergroup harmony.11 12 13 Furthermore, engaging community members in arts processes to enhance public spaces fosters an ethic of care towards others and a sense of belonging in that environment.14 Community engagement through the arts can help create social cohesion while also providing a voice for residents in shaping their community’s future.15

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Citations

1 Village Well. Train Stations as Places for Community Wellbeing. Published by Village Well (Victoria, Australia). July 2006.

2 American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Recommended Practice: Best Practices for Integrating Art into Capital Projects. APTA Standards Development Program, APTA SUDS-UD-RP-007-13. Published June 28, 2013. http://www.apta.com/resources/hottopics/sustainability/Documents/APTA%20SUDS-UD-RP-007-13%20Integrating%20Art%20into%20Capital%20Projects.pdf

3 American Public Transportation Commission. Why Design Matters. 2011.

4 Americans for the Arts. Why Public Art Matters. Public Art Network Council, Green Paper. http://blog.artsusa.org/artsblog/wp-content/uploads/greenpapers/documents/PublicArtNetwork_GreenPaper.pdf

5 American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Recommended Practice: Best Practices for Integrating Art into Capital Projects. APTA Standards Development Program, APTA SUDS-UD-RP-007-13. Published June 28, 2013. http://www.apta.com/resources/hottopics/sustainability/Documents/APTA%20SUDS-UD-RP-007-13%20Integrating%20Art%20into%20Capital%20Projects.pdf

6 Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia and James Rojas. Project for Public Spaces (project funded by FTA). Tools for Transit Dependent Communities. http://www.pps.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Tools-for-Transit-Dependent-Communities.pdf

7 Rapson, Rip. Creative placemaking: Rethinking the role of arts and culture in strengthening communities. CEO of Kresge Foundation, Speaking at the League of Historic American Theaters conference. July 18, 2013. http://kresge.org/about-us/presidents-corner/creative-placemaking-rethinking-role-arts-and-culture-strengthening-commu

8 Rapson, Rip. Creative placemaking: Rethinking the role of arts and culture in strengthening communities. CEO of Kresge Foundation, Speaking at the League of Historic American Theaters conference. July 18, 2013. ttp://kresge.org/about-us/presidents-corner/creative-placemaking-rethinking-role-arts-and-culture-strengthening-commu

9 Mackie, Jack. Public Art and Placemaking. Public Art Review. September 24, 2013. http://forecastpublicart.org/public-art-review/2013/09/public-art-placemaking/

10 Village Well. Train Stations as Places for Community Wellbeing. Published by Village Well (Victoria, Australia). July 2006. http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ProgramsandProjects/PlanningHealthyEnvironments/Attachments/Train_Stations_Community_Wellbeing2.ashx

11 Village Well. Train Stations as Places for Community Wellbeing. Published by Village Well (Victoria, Australia). July 2006. http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ProgramsandProjects/PlanningHealthyEnvironments/Attachments/Train_Stations_Community_Wellbeing2.ashx

12 Badger, E. Researchers put two Spanish-speakers on a train and changed commuters’ views of immigration. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/08/researchers-put-two-spanish-speakers-on-a-train-and-changed-commuters-views-of-immigration/

13 Breitbart, Myrna and Pamela Worden. Creating a Sense of Purpose: Public Art and Boston’s Orange Line. Places. 1994.

14 American Public Transportation Commission. Why Design Matters. 2011.

15 Rapson, Rip. Creative placemaking: Rethinking the role of arts and culture in strengthening communities. CEO of Kresge Foundation, Speaking at the League of Historic American Theaters conference. July 18, 2013. http://kresge.org/about-us/presidents-corner/creative-placemaking-rethinking-role-arts-and-culture-strengthening-commu