Introducing Philadelphia Neon Murals.
Philadelphia has an unspoken crime problem. The city of "brotherly love" can tend to feel more like a war-zone than a place of peaceful neighborhoods. A South Philadelphia area is bringing a 'new' strategy to restore balance and lower illegal activity on their streets. By using neon lights, artistic murals can be created on sidewalks, buildings - even trees to create a more opulent environment.
More lights, less crime - right? That's just what their hoping it will encourage.
Electric Street, by Davin Guinn and Drew Billiau takes an ordinary city wall and converts it into a modern day Picasso. Well, maybe not a Pablo - exactly. But a piece of scenic display that transforms a dim-city block into something worth being around.
More people, less crime - right? That's just what their hoping it will encourage.
As of now, 'Electric Street' is hard to find. Why? You ask? The more eyes and feet on the streets that look for it, the more likely crime will be deterred. The Streets Dept. has posted the exact location here for your convenience, however they encourage you to 'search' for it. This all serves as a great night out for a group of friends or family. Even better, for locals who pop into local bars and restaurants. Why not burn a few calories trying to find an illuminated mural 12am in the morning.
Ok... more lights, more people, more interest... Less crime - right? Once again, that's the plan.
And with it's secret installation, it surprised all the residential locals. The artists responsible won funding through the Knight Arts Challenge, so expect plenty more of these to pop up in the near future.
And of course, there's always a downside. Granted, the idea is genius, some people think differently. And rightfully so in their disagreements.
And some of these people have valid points. Bring neon lights, then neon guns appear. Drug issues still plague the streets, despite violent, senseless crimes. Meanwhile, Public schools still suffer with internal crime within it's own hallways, causing closures one by one.
We won't write this attempt off though, because anything that helps better the streets of Philadelphia is welcomed. For now, lets be thankful for this idea. If implemented in neighborhoods such as North Philly or Southwest Philly, this could truly help solve an occurring issue in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.
Once again, more lights and people could just help scare criminals away.
The bigger question? Where will they go because of this, and what neighborhoods will be effected?
Take this example and ponder on it:
If you turn the lights on, all the critters scatter. Turn them off, they come out from their hiding places.
In suburban neighborhoods, it's really dark. In some cases, streetlights cant be found for miles.
In urban areas, streetlights are abundant. Not to the extent where night turns into day, but just enough for a late-goer to navigate the streets.
Illuminate poverty stricken areas with art murals, criminals are scared off. Raise the late night population, and a bad guy may be hard to find at night. Especially with an elevated presence from Police.
But just like the example from earlier, the lights come on, the critters scatter into their hiding places.
Where will they hide? Possibly, the dark Philly suburban neighborhoods that once were secluded.
Call it a theory or just plain opinion, but it makes a lot of sense.
So yes, we love this idea, however could this 'crime' plan possibly backfire on those who support and implement it? Only one way to find out... and time will play a huge factor.