SIAP's report represents a first attempt to assess the impact of the City of Philadelphia's mural arts program—initiated in 1984 under the Anti-Graffiti Network--on the city's neighborhoods. The need for the study grew out of the changing character of the Mural Arts Program (MAP) since its move in 1996 from the Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.
The study incorporated a variety of methods. We used data on the location of murals to assess whether the density of murals was related to other characteristics of a neighborhood. In addition, we developed a detailed mural production database to examine the nature of community involvement in MAP's process. Finally, we used a method developed by our Penn colleague, Ram Cnaan, to assess community members' contribution to the production of murals.