Great Idea In B’ham

Boarded up, abandoned buildings look admittedly awful. It only gets worse if it’s in an already declining neighborhood.

But rather than just let it be, someone wonderful has come along and painted over this building’s particleboard-covered doors and windows with lovely scenes of happy home life – this is in west B’ham:

Love the trompe d’oeil doors. The girl with the dog, and the hearth are wonderful!

This is great.

I think it was in one of my Sociology classes in college that we learned about the ‘broken window syndrome’. I just looked it up, and I think the idea of it was first written about in the Atlantic Monthly in 1982. It’s summarized very well here, and here are a couple of excerpts:

“If a window in a building is broken and left unrepaired,” they wrote, “all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. . . . One unrepaired window is a signal that no one cares, so breaking more windows costs nothing. . . . Untended property becomes fair game for people out for fun or plunder.”

‘If disorder goes unchecked, a vicious cycle begins. First, it kindles a fear of crime among residents, who respond by staying behind locked doors. Their involvement in the neighborhood declines; people begin to ignore rowdy and threatening behavior in public. They cease to exercise social regulation over little things like litter on the street, loitering strangers, or truant schoolchildren.

It’s so nice that someone has done this and made what would have been a very negative element a canvas for positive, happy images.

I’d like to give whoever did this a big hug.

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