What Has Devon Village Done to Prevent Graffiti?

Here is a slide show of the April 12, 2010 graffiti invasion of the Devon Village Wall.

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Graffiti on the Devon Village Wall is difficult to cover/remove because the wall is very close to the tracks, making it a safety issue for both the graffiti taggers and the graffiti removers. SEPTA has volunteered to cover the Devon Village wall graffiti for safety reasons. They painted over this April 12, 2010 graffiti.

Graffiti Control Experiences in Other Areas

A Google query of graffiti will generate 1,000’s of articles from many countries around the world. It is clear that this problem is not unique to the USA, Philadelphia,  E Mt Airy, or Devon Village Wall.

Property owners have a responsibility to handle graffiti, including both prevention and removal.  Here are summaries of three  interesting articles that provide recommendations to property owners on steps to prevent graffiti:

San Francisco:

“The best way to get rid of graffiti is not to get it in the first place, said Merle Goldstone, head of San Francisco’s Graffiti Watch program, who has some tips that will help discourage taggers from marking your home or building.”

“Goldstone suggests that homeowners who are worried about graffiti install a closed-circuit camera in the area that is vulnerable to taggers. Planting ivy or installing a trellis will make the exposed walls unattractive to taggers, as well.” San Francisco Chronicle: 7/9/05  Link

Seattle Public Utilities:

“Make your property hard to vandalize..”

  • Create a barrier using vegetation or a fence to ward off potential graffiti vandals.
  • Use materials and surfaces that make graffiti vandalism difficult: apply a clear coat finish to protect painted and unpainted surfaces and use protective film coverings on windows.
  • Keep your property well-lit and install flashing motion-sensor lighting.
  • Install surveillance cameras to monitor activity on your property.”
    Seattle.gov Link

New Plymouth District Council (NZ) 

This paper provides a comprehensive approach to graffiti prevention. Readers are encouraged to read the entire paper here.

A few points that appear particularly appropriate for Devon Village Wall situation:

” Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) CPTED is based upon the idea that the environment influences people’s behaviour and uses design principles to minimise the potential for criminal behaviour to occur. Ideally, principles should be incorporated at the design stage of a development but can be applied to existing buildings and areas.

Lighting that works on motion detectors may increase the chances of detection and further deter graffiti or crime in these locations.”

Controlling access to ‘canvases’ — If graffiti ‘canvases’ (walls, doors etc) cannot be altered to reduce their attractiveness to graffiti vandals, landscaping should cover them. Make sure that any plants used do not damage the surface by attaching themselves to the wall or by root invasion.

  • Landscaping should be both high enough to cover the accessible parts of the wall and wide enough to deter access.
  • Natives and other plants which are uncomfortable to be close to may improve access control.

What Has Devon Village Done to Control Graffiti?

What steps has Devon Village taken to prevent  graffiti on the 438 foot Devon Village Front Wall?  Has Devon Village considered any graffiti prevention techniques for the Devon Village Wall?

  • Install motion sensor lighting to increase chances of detection
  • Make wall less vulnerable to graffiti by changing texture:
    • Adjust wall texture to discourage graffiti
    • Install lattice or vine cover to discourage graffiti
    • Wall covering or glazed panels from which graffiti washes off

Graffiti control of this wall has  neighborhood beautification, public safety and public agency financial implications. Devon Village needs to take steps to prevent graffiti, especially since SEPTA, a publicly funded transit agency, will have to handle graffiti removal.

What steps does Devon Village plan to take to prevent graffiti?

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