Cities in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. can apply for Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative grants to improve street safety and public spaces and engage residents, according to a Tuesday press release.
Up to 20 cities will each receive $25,000 grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Applications are due by June 12.
Grant recipients will receive technical consulting services from Bloomberg Associates and “tactical urbanism” firm Street Plans Collaborative.
Baltimore; Denver; Louisville, Kentucky; and other U.S. cities have installed asphalt art in intersections, crosswalks and other pedestrian spaces to improve community engagement and promote safer behaviors among drivers and pedestrians.
“The number of cities proving the power of asphalt art projects continues to grow,” Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “It’s amazing what a few cans of paint — and a forward-looking community — can achieve.”
According to a study Bloomberg Philanthropies published last year, areas with asphalt art installed see their rates of crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists cut in half. The rate of drivers yielding to pedestrians with the right of way increased 27%, the study found. In Kansas City, Missouri, an asphalt art project helped reduce average traffic speeds by 45%.
“In addition to safer streets, the [Asphalt Art Initiative] creates vibrant public spaces, fosters a city’s interagency collaboration, and increases each city’s capacity to work with artists as well as community groups on creative projects,” the press release says.
For instance, East Providence, Rhode Island, connected an elementary school to a park with five crosswalk murals, leading “the share of residents who feel positively about the street [to rise] from 20% to 93%,” the press release says.
Since 2020, the Asphalt Art Initiative has supported 64 projects in 41 U.S. cities and 22 European cities, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Bloomberg Associates has published a guide featuring asphalt art case studies and best practices for cities.