Can the Arts Bring Value to Our City?

Nine years ago, you wouldn’t be able to imagine that George Town would soon be a recognised street art capital in the world, in league with the likes of New York and Berlin. That’s because it wasn’t; until sometime in 2012, when the arts broke out from within the confines of art galleries. Large scale murals and installations sprouted in every nook and cranny, drawing in tourists and transforming George Town into an open-air gallery of urban creativity. Quirky cafes and charming boutique hotels began to flourish, offering tired visitors a place to sit and a bed to rest after a day of hunting for street art. From Sia Boey to Hin Bus Depot, local authorities, city makers and space managers embarked on various creative placemaking projects which champion arts, culture and heritage to rejuvenate long-abandoned public spaces to improve neighbourhoods and connect local communities.