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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies