The Graffolution Consortium, including the Project Coordinator SYNYO, and the UIC Security Division team, held the Graffolution Rail End-users Workshop at UIC Headquarters on 3 February 2016. Around 26 participants came from 10 different countries, representing 12 companies.
At the invitation of UIC, Security, Maintenance and Legal experts from UIC members attended a presentation of the project and its most important results. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to test the Graffolution platform, which delivers an extensive set of “Collaborative Tools and Resources” to empower transport operators and other stakeholders such as city administrations and law enforcement agencies to share knowledge and to create their own intervention strategies.
Overall, the workshop pointed out that future opportunities in responding effectively and appropriately to challenges associated with graffiti revolve around new collaborations, an increase in transparency and increased applications of ‘lateral thinking’. This means boosting one’s capacity and motivation to generate innovations and test new alternatives both within professional sectors and related communities and between them.
The participants particularly appreciated the balance between repressive and constructive strategies in graffiti prevention and found the platform relevant for the railway context. They agreed that innovative graffiti management should include both anti-social measures (such as surveillance, enforcement, quick graffiti removal etc.) and pro-social opportunities like encouraging artists, organising graffiti contests, promoting mural projects etc. The project proved that a combination of both these strategies is more effective than focusing only on one.
Additionally, railway end-users were committed to disseminating the Graffolution results and online platform within their organisations. The Graffolution Consortium members also used this workshop to collect feedback and input from the workshop participants in order to improve the finished platform for end-users.
The updated version is now available at www.graffolution.eu. The platform includes four parts: (1) an Open Information Hub (OIH); (2) a Collaborative Knowledge Base (CKB); (3) a Resource pool and (4) a Toolbox. Users are strongly invited to register on the platform as soon as possible in order to have free access to these last three components.
For the record, the Graffolution is a EU FP7 Project (No. 608152) that focuses on ‘smart responses’, multi-directional awareness and positive solutions for the wider public – including both those who are in charge of managing graffiti vandalism as well as those who construe street art as part of city regeneration, place making, creative or community action. The project is now coming to an end and the aim of the Consortium is to conduct large-scale dissemination. If it were to be extended thanks to the support of the European Commission, UIC would obviously continue to disseminate further and to encourage railway stakeholders to use the Graffolution platform.