(Universität Graz, Austria)
Hardly any distinct feature of urban environments and the society living in such environments is discussed for so long and controversially as the phenomenon of street art and graffiti. For the mainly juvenile supporters of the movement graffiti simply is a nowadays widely accepted possibility for artistically freedom of scope, whereas their opponents are putting graffiti onthe same level with vandalism, violation of property rights and damage producing an impression of blight and gang activity. On the other hand the city of Graz is well known for its cultural heritage which every year attracts a lot of visitors (European Capital of Culture2003); considering this commercially important interrelation the people in charge are forced to do their best in heritage documentation and management. As a matter of fact there is an area of conflict established by the intentions of the persons involved: the graffiti artists, the citizens, the politicians and the tourists. Unfortunately until now there can be stated a lack of research work describing and analyzing the interactions taking place in the surrounding of historical buildings. Therefore the proposed paper discusses the appearance of the graffiti phenomenon in the main touristic zones of Graz by the means of GIS and Spatial Analysis toolboxes. From the methodical point of view, the workflow consists of three different work packages, data description and acquisition, data model building and finally analysis and visualization: The first step is done by conducting preliminary studies allocating(local-context-) knowledge about the characteristics of urban graffiti, the features representing architectural heritage and the tourists routes; the results of this step can be used for the development the underlying GIS-database model (phase 2) holding all project-relevant spatially referenced data (conventional attributes, pictures etc.) which have to be analyzed in step 3 by the toolboxes of the process model. The latter employs pattern analysis and the delineation of hot spots providing a wide range of graffiti related insights: Local patterns of different graffiti types, preferred undergrounds, styles and graphical data (i.e. signs) can be compared and overlaid by touristic and socio-economic data. Finally, the evolution of appearances and appearance patterns can be visualized and mapped.
Keywords: Graffiti Cultural Heritage, GIS