Opportunity sites are locations in cities which fit one or more of the following criteria:
- Located in commercial, retail, or transit corridors
- Blighted or at-risk of tagging and tag recidivism
Opportunity sites include freeway over- and underpasses, bus shelters, rooftops, parking lots, and even construction sites. These sites offer opportunities for the commission of murals to beautify and transform the landscape while deterring or eliminating tag vandalism or tag recidivism altogether. Strategic placement of murals or a series of murals in any given location effect blight reduction while also invoking the aesthetic benefits of public visual art. Replacing proliferate and random scrawls with intentional art sends a strong message that not only are urban walls being cared for, but those walls are being elevated aesthetically to a level of high-quality art.
Some of the most-visible opportunity sites are on property owned by transit agencies, such as CalTrans, BART, EBMUD, PG&E, and Amtrak. These agencies spend millions and millions of dollars annually on abating vandalism, but only a fraction of that amount on creative placemaking initiatives. There is tremendous opportunity to transform these locations from dull, oppressive structures into vibrant and colorful community hallmarks, yet obtaining permissions is very challenging and requires high-level political will and involves an overly-bureaucratic process. Since these locations are part of the physical environment people live in and interact with on a daily basis, why not develop and expand public art initiatives to beautify and artify these sites?