Economic Vitality

Economic Vitality

Public art offers excellent return on investment. Improving public transit through art can augment community growth and strengthen the economic vitality of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as that of the transit provider.

Economic Vitality and Opportunity
Improving public transit through art can augment community growth and strengthen the economic vitality of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as that of the transit provider. Public art offers excellent return on investment.

ART IS AN ATTRACTIVE FORCE
Art and design are powerful tools in attracting riders. Buenos Aires’ transit ridership doubled after the infusion of art in their subway.1 Studies of the art-in-transit programs in Buenos Aires, Naples, Vancouver, and New York reveal that artistically enhanced transit environments make people more likely to take transit,2 3 4 and that people are willing to pay more, endure longer wait times, and travel farther to access aesthetically enhanced transit lines or stations.5 The transformation of stations into attractive, welcoming, and artistically unique portals can draw more visitors to the community, thereby attracting greater economic and social investment into the neighborhoods surrounding the station.

ART BENEFITS TRANSIT PATRONS AND PROVIDERS, AND THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE
The Federal Transportation Administration has supported the integration of artwork into public transit since 1981 and states that, “Good design and art can improve the appearance and safety of a facility, give vibrancy to its public spaces, and make patrons feel welcome.”6 Art in transit provides a range of benefits for transit patrons and providers: encourages ridership, improves perception of transit, conveys customer care, improves customer experience, improves organizational identity, deters vandalism, and increases safety and security.7

ART TURNS TRANSIT STATIONS INTO COMMUNITY GATEWAYS
Art can activate the transit system connecting the Bay Area. Art-enhanced stations will serve as inviting gateways into the neighborhoods they represent, providing riders with an immediate, welcoming sense of place.8 Through art integration, the station environment can become a space to reveal and celebrate a community’s uniqueness—empowering residents, educating visitors, and inviting people to explore—and invest in—the community. Station renewal feeds neighborhood renewal: enhanced stations not only attract riders, but can also stimulate commerce in the neighborhood surrounding the station.9 10 11 12

PUBLIC ART ENHANCES COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION
Art can catalyze community regeneration by instilling in residents a sense of community pride and revitalizing the local economy. Engaging local artists and community members in the integration of art into the station environment can increase cross-cultural respect, community cohesion, and local investment.13 14 15 Dollars spent on public art are also an investment in the community.16 Investment in the arts and cultural resources of a community can support innovation and economic growth, improve quality of life for residents, stimulate local commerce, and sustain neighborhoods by stabilizing property values.17 18 19 Public art is an important aspect of a healthy city, helping it progress economically and catalyze community regeneration.20

PUBLIC ART IMPROVES ECONOMIC VALUE
Public art has been shown to increase the attractiveness of an area to businesses and skilled professionals, making people more confident about investing in that community.21 On a wide scale, an art-enhanced mass transit system can draw the attention of tourists and decision makers, increasing the attractiveness of the city and region for national and international events.22

Aesthetics are also proven to influence local GDP. “The Soul of the Community” Gallup survey of 26 cities in the US found that people’s loyalty and passion for their community is overwhelmingly driven by three factors: a community’s social offerings, how welcoming it is to all kinds of people, and its aesthetics. Improving our transit system through the arts will address each of these three factors. The study further shows that when people feel better about where they live, they may be more entrepreneurial and productive. Communities with the highest percentage of people with a strong emotional connection to their city have the highest local gross domestic product growth rates over time.23

PUBLIC ART OFFERS EXCELLENT RETURN ON INVESTMENT
“Good art is good business.” In 2012, Dan Rosenfeld published an article in UrbanLand explaining that, “dollar for dollar, investments in public art may provide the highest financial returns of any funds committed to an aspect of a transit project.” He noted further: “Investments in public art are not just for cultural or aesthetic purposes; they also can have a positive bottom-line economic impact, with material financial benefits to their owners”24 The British Airport Authority estimated that their public arts program, during its first two years, generated £98,000 worth of publicity in the press.25

The marketability of transit-oriented development in Los Angeles has been linked to public art. “The private marketing benefits, in real-dollar terms, of this modest public art investment are almost inestimably high. The continuing visibility, publicity, and brand identification that public art provided for the project were purchased for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the project’s total cost.”26

Aesthetic enhancements in stations can increase ridership and improve public perception of the transit agency. They can also improve the safety of the transit environment and deter vandalism and graffiti, thereby lowering maintenance costs. In Portland, Tri-Met used sandblasted glass panels in bus shelters to curb vandalism. This practice, costing under $20 per window, is estimated to save the transit agency at least $100,000 annually.27 Currently, San Francisco spends more than $20 million annually on graffiti cleanup.28

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Citations

1 Transit Cooperative Research Program, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration. Research Results Digest 96. August 2010. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rrd_96.pdf

2 Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Urban Environmental Programs, Case Studies in Sustainable Transportation, North America Case Study 95: Public Art and Design in Transit, November 2011. https://www.fcm.ca/Documents/case-studies/GMF/Transport-Canada/PublicArtDesignTransit_EN.pdf

3 Transit Cooperative Research Program, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration. Research Results Digest 96. August 2010. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rrd_96.pdf

4 Seixas, Naomi. “Does Art matter? Assessing the Social Value of Public Art in New York City’s Transit System.” Tracing the City: Interventions of Art and Public Space. Adapted for ‘Urban Encounters: Art and the Public’ from a demonstration of professional competence submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science and Regional Planning, School of Architecture, Pratt Institute. May 2013. http://tracingthecity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Does-Art-Matter.pdf

5 Cascetta, Ennio and Armando Carteni. The hedonic value of railway terminals. A quantitative analysis of the impact of stations quality on traveler’s behavior. 2012. Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, University of Napoli Frederico II, Naples, Italy.

6 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Design and Art in Transit Projects. FTA Circular 9400. 1 A. Washington D.C.: Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration, 1995 http://www.fta.dot.gov/13094_4129.html

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

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

14 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

15 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

16 Americans for the Arts. Arts and Economic Prosperity III. National Report, 2005.

17 Schleter, Brian. Measuring the Social, Economic Benefits of Art and Culture. Penn Current. October 13, 2011.

18 Debrezion, G., Eric Pels and Piet Rietveld. The Impact of Railway Stations on Residential and Commercial Property Value: A Meta-analysis. Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. Published online: June 19, 2007.

19 Grodach, Carl, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, and Nicole Foster and James Murdoch III. A Metro- and Neighborhood-Level Analysis. Urban Studies. February 1, 2014.

20 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

21 National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). State Policy Briefs, Tools for Art Decision Making: Why Should the Government Support the Arts?, 2014. http://www.nasaa-arts.org/Advocacy/Advocacy-Tools/Why-Government-Support/WhyGovSupport.pdf

22 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Design and Art in Transit Projects. FTA Circular 9400. 1 A. Washington D.C.: Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration, 1995. http://www.fta.dot.gov/13094_4129.html

23 The Soul of the Community (2011). Gallup survey funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

24 Rosenfeld, Dan. Public Art in Transit. Urban Land Magazine, May 8, 2012.

25 UITP. Fact Sheet: Art on Transport. March 2003.

26 Rosenfeld, Dan. Public Art in Transit. Urban Land Magazine, May 8, 2012.

27 Cura, Frederico. American Public Transportation Association. Art on Transit Brings Benefits Beyond Mere Beauty. Passenger Transport. August 2001.

28 San Francisco Department of Public Works http://sfdpw.org/index.aspx?page=1099