Public art in mitigation planning: The experience of the squaw peak parkway in phoenix

John M. Blair, David Pijawka, Frederick Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Freeways often bring adverse visual and environmental consequences. This study reports on two surveys of residents who were asked for their views on using public art as a component of a freeway mitigation program. The results suggest that the public strongly supports public arts programs, but is ambivalent about their use for freeway mitigation. Four factors contributed to a general disapproval of the freeway public art program: the costs of the art, perceptions of a low level of public involvement in selecting the art, lack of a regional art theme, and inappropriate placement of the art. Although public art's potential to raise controversy is familiar, emphasizing its use as a freeway mitigation tool when other adverse freeway effects have not been fully addressed can make matters worse and even jeopardize the mitigation program as a whole. The paper considers the role of public art in planning and how planners may reconcile the conflicting objectives of the artist, the public, and local government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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