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Public Art: Extending the Life of the Street

Transportation agencies operate the most abundant, visible, and flexible spaces in urban life: the public right-of-way. As stewards of the road and the sidewalk, cities shape streets not just as places to travel through, but as places to be.

Public realm programs are vital to improving a city’s civic infrastructure. By enhancing the public realm, engaging community members, honoring cultural and historic legacies, and building relationships with practicing artists, public art programs extend city life beyond buildings, into the shared spaces connecting us all.

In this session, hear from three cities who run successful public art programs within transportation agencies, or in close partnership with others. Panelists will explore the importance of prioritizing impactful design and street art in the transportation planning process, and the role of the streets department as stewards of the public realm. We’ll take a look at inspiring projects—from activated alleyways, to painted jersey barriers that offer a clear, safe, and welcoming journey—that demonstrate the process, coordination, and motivation behind this new approach to city streets.

Session Format: Presentations & Moderated Q&A