Massachusetts Placemaking Lighting Display’s Downtown Impact
The eerie feeling of a dark alley and dim-lit underpass isn’t just a feeling. A recent New York City study showed that increased lighting can reduce crime by as much as 39 percent. Also, when an area is seen as the “dark” side of town, that physical impression can impact neighborhood perceptions.
One Lynn, Massachusetts group of concerned residents turned creative agency partnered with the local government and businesses to light up Lynn as a part of a larger effort to improve their city’s downtown experience.
“Much of the Boston-based media only comes to Lynn when something bad happens,” said Al Wilson, Founder, and CEO of Beyond Walls. “If we could get more people walking around downtown, perceptions of it being unsafe would decrease. We’d see an increase in spending in local businesses and residents would have a greater sense of community pride.”
Since 2016, the Beyond Walls group proved their hypothesis right while winning awards for lighting and other public art projects including Gateway City Innovation Awards and HUBWeek’s Impactful Public Art Award.
Need Ideas for a Community Creative Placemaking Project?
Download the “Trends in Creative Placemaking on Problem Properties: 2019 National Survey Findings” for data and real case studies of communities, like Oakland, where residents are solving community challenges while fighting vacancy.