Asphalt Art Initiative Uses Art To Improve Street Safety, Revitalize Public Space

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced its second Asphalt Art Initiative – a call for cities in the United States to submit projects that use art and design to improve street safety, revitalise public spaces, and enhance community engagement. Up to 20 winning cities will receive $25,000 each for their projects.

The grant program is designed to create vibrant new public spaces and also to encourage cities to work with artists and community groups on projects involving transportation infrastructure.

“Asphalt Art Projects can help cities rebuild from the pandemic by reinvigorating streets and making them safer, while also lifting spirits,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “As we’ve seen through our work in cities around the world, vibrant public artwork and smarter street design can inspire residents, build relationships between artists and the community, and help cities recover stronger than before.”

Bloomberg Associates, urban planning and architecture firm Street Plans Collaborative, and public art consultant Renee Piechocki created a free, downloadable Asphalt Art Guidecontaining case studies and best practices from cities around the world. 

“Adapting our cities post-pandemic isn’t just a question of engineering or epidemiology, but of imagination. By bringing light, colour and creativity to blacktop, asphalt art projects can bring people together after so much time apart and breathe new life into our cities and our streets,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, principal for transportation at Bloomberg Associates. “From open streets to outdoor dining, this past year has made the importance of the public realm clearer than ever, and this programme will help cities coast to coast make their streetscapes as vibrant as the communities that come together to create them.”

All US cities are invited to apply until April 30, 2021. Winning cities will be announced in fall 2021 and all selected projects will be installed by the fall of 2022. More information is available at