Graffiti can take a great deal of effort to remove, so it is better in many respects to limit the amount of it that is produced in the first place. The Urban Parks Institute has sought ways to prevent or limit the amount of graffiti that is sprayed or painted in city parks. Various approaches need to be taken to counter the spread of graffiti. Park managers can attempt direct or indirect approaches to limit the opportunities of graffitists to paint all over park facilities, furniture, and buildings. Using direct approaches involves managers regulating the behavior of all park visitors and users. On the other hand indirect approaches rely on design strategies that put people off applying graffiti to surfaces in parks.
In recent years the indirect approach tends to have been used more frequently. That has tended to be the case as park managers have had their budgets reduced. With the hiring of extra staff to directly stop graffitists not practical designing parks to deter graffiti has become the main method of limiting it.
Designing Parks to restrict opportunity
The design of parks is really important in restricting the opportunity for people to put graffiti on any surface they can paint without been seen or caught. Managers should look around their parks to see if they can spot any weak spots. For instance places that are closer to movable furniture are prone to graffitists climbing up and graffiting things. If grafetting can be seen above 6 feet then the furniture needs to be moved or bolted down. Such a simple step can cut graffiti without too much effort.
Reduce cover and increase lighting
Putting things out of reach and keeping things lit up will deter most from trying. After all graffitists want people to see what they have done but not see them doing it. Lights that night as bright as day can make graffitists go somewhere else especially if the lights are hard to reach and vandal resistant.
Plants can be a low cost means of stopping graffitists getting into areas that managers want to block off. Plants that grow quickly, grow thick and have thorns are ideal. These can be effective barriers, but be careful to avoid the local youths that the plants are there to specifically stop them, as they make take their revenge.
Managers could using coating materials, although it does not prevent graffiti it makes things much easier to be cleaned up.
Other tactics for countering graffiti
Waterproof sheets of plastic – these are great because they can be easily peeled off if anyone has put graffiti on the surface. It is quicker and more cost effective way of keeping things clear.
Mural art – research strong indicates that multicolored mural art deters graffitists, quite possibly because bright colours would make it harder to see graffiti tags.
Removal graffiti boards – sometimes the best option is to have cheap and removable boards that can be graffitied and then removed to be replaced by the next one.