Just the presence of streetlights can deter criminal behaviour. A South Philadelphia neighbourhood is trying something a little more innovative than that — using neon-lit murals to not just brighten the footpath, but also turn the area into a destination. Image: Streets Dept.
Electric Street, by David Guinn and Drew Billiau, transforms a wall into a work of public art that not only adds colour to the street but gives people to a reason to come to the area and stick around after dark.
The beauty of the installation is that it's apparently not very easy to find (Streets Dept. posted the exact location here) so people are getting a little lost trying to find it, some resorting to popping into local bars to ask for directions, and sticking around for drinks. This is all good — more eyes and feet on the street.
Another cool thing about the mural is that it seems to have been installed largely in secret, surprising even the locals with its existence. As the artists hinted in their announcement, this will be the first of many projects to appear in the area, thanks to funding that they won through the Knight Arts Challenge.
Instagram feeds are going to be flooded with neon-lit selfies.