Public art in public space: tracking graffiti and mural art practices in contemporary Tehran

Zare Gharehgheshlaghi, Solmaz
Public spaces, inevitable components of urban space, play a very important role in creating livable places by meeting different needs of citizens. Urban public spaces allow for social, cultural and economic interaction and intellectual freedom in urban outdoor spaces. Public art is an effective means of communication in the public sphere. As an indispensable element of space design, public art creates a 'sense of place' and 'place identity'. Public art serves many purposes such as attracting people's attention, representing the historical, cultural, political and social events of a city, celebrating different kinds of events, making cities more impressive, and bringing eye-catching awareness to the public space. However, the policies and practices of public administrations in relation to public art may not always provide ideal conditions of expressing public art freely in the public space. This study defines a general theoretical framework by examining the contributions of public art to public space. This research shows that modern urban planning and design practices in Iran cannot successfully meet the socio-cultural values and needs of the public and express their political ideas freely in public spaces. By focusing on an importance of public space and its public art elements in Tehran’s city center, it examines how the state manages and controls the relationship between public art and social life in public spaces through public art projects. This thesis aims to study and discuss the importance of public art in terms of the sense of responsibility of citizens, their awareness of urbanity and their ties with urban space, and their effects and contributions in social and cultural life.


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Citation Formats
S. Zare Gharehgheshlaghi, “Public art in public space: tracking graffiti and mural art practices in contemporary Tehran,” Thesis (M.S.) -- Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences. Urban Design in City and Regional Planning Department., Middle East Technical University, 2019.