Solna, Sweden, is set to introduce an open graffiti wall, a project initiated by the Left Party, aiming to offer a designated space for graffiti artists to showcase their skills and reduce vandalism. The decision, made last spring, is currently undergoing investigations to determine the ideal location and technical aspects of constructing the wall.
Local graffiti artists are expected to participate in this endeavor, with hopes that the open graffiti wall will become a vibrant addition to the urban landscape by 2024. The Left Party argues that organized graffiti spaces can decrease vandalism, while opponents, like the Moderate Party and the Christian Democrats, express concerns that it might encourage more vandalism and detract from the city's aesthetics.
Research on the subject offers mixed findings, with the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention highlighting a lack of scientific studies on legal graffiti walls. While a legal wall in Nacka reportedly led to a 46 percent reduction in graffiti in the surrounding area, vandalism increased when the wall was closed. In contrast, Malmö saw an uptick in vandalism near its legal graffiti wall in Folkets Park. Solna's experiment will provide valuable insights into the relationship between open graffiti walls, artistic expression, and vandalism.