The City of Detroit launched the City Walls program in the Summer of 2017. The new initiative integrates a multifaceted approach to enhancing public space by focusing on an essential urban element: the city wall.
The pilot program included an artist residency program called the Blight Abatement Artist Residency Program (BAARP), a viaduct transformation program, and a program where property owners who have received a blight violation ticket could choose to have a mural painted to satisfy the remediation portion of the ticket.
The goals of the program are to highlight the values and the identity of the communities where art work is being created, empower Detroit artists, and to provide a positive cost benefit to the public via art versus the cost of blight remediation. In recognizing that the number one goal is to highlight the values and the identity of the community, the program puts an emphasis on a reversed engineered approach to content development insuring that the art develops organically and holistically within the community by the community.