The City of Melbourne has conducted research and community consultation which revealed that most people do not like graffiti ‘tagging’ (person writing their graffiti name or ‘tag’ on a wall with marker or paint). However, many people appreciate ‘street art’ such as larger, more artistic pieces, or murals placed in appropriate locations with the required permission.
In response, the City of Melbourne’s Graffiti Management Plan distinguishes between:
- the need to remove unwanted graffiti applied without permission, and
- street art placed on walls and infrastructure with the blessing of property owners.
The City of Melbourne recognises the importance of street art in contributing to a vibrant urban culture. Melbourne’s street art has become internationally renowned and has become an attraction for local and overseas visitors experiencing Melbourne’s creative ambience. View our Street art image gallery.
Council takes a strong stance against illegal graffiti and has a number of measures in place to ensure that the city stays clean. For more information on Council initiatives or to find out how you can reduce graffiti on your property, visit Graffiti and street art.
Getting a permit for a street art site
Within the City of Melbourne, property owners and occupiers can apply for a permit to have street art on their buildings. This applies to:
- work which already exists, which the owner wants to keep
- any new work which is commissioned by a property owner
Download the application form:
If you need more information about the street art permit process, call 03 9658 9658 or contact us online.
If you are a property owner or manager and you have existing graffiti on your property which is a potential street art site, you will need to decide whether you would like it to stay or whether you want it removed.
If you would like the work to remain and it meets City of Melbourne’s approval guidelines, you will need to sign a Street Art approval form which will ensure that the site is not cleaned by the City of Melbourne. (In the occasional instance where a planning permit is required for the work, we will facilitate this process for you.)
Please call 03 9658 9658 for further information about obtaining approval for street art.
If you are a property owner or manager and you would like to commission a new work on your property, please call 03 9658 9658 to discuss your proposal.
If the work you are planning meets the City of Melbourne’s approval guidelines, you will need to sign a Street Art approval form which will ensure that the site is not cleaned by the City of Melbourne.
Maintaining an approved street art site
If at any time the condition of an approved street art site deteriorates (eg it is tagged), the City of Melbourne will work with the owner to maintain it in an acceptable condition.
Information for property owners and occupiers
Legal street art can brighten up your property. To display street art on your property you must seek approval from the Council to make it legal.
Tips for property owners and occupiers:
- You can apply for Council approval for street art which is already on your wall or for new art work you are planning.
- If your property is under a heritage control, you may need a planning permit instead of a street art approval.
- If you have a problem with graffiti tagging on your property, the site may be suitable for a street art mural. This may help deter graffiti in the future.
- The City of Melbourne can help if you need advice or assistance in removing unwanted graffiti from your property.
Information for artists
An artist will first need to get permission from the property owner or occupier before doing any artwork on a building or a street art site.
Tips for artists:
- Approval can be sought for a street art which already exists or for new art work you are planning to produce for a property owner or occupier.
- If you have an idea for a street art site, contact the property owner or occupier and suggest they seek approval from the Council. You can help them explain the proposal to Council officers.
- If you know of a site with existing art work (by you or another artist) which deserves to stay, approach the property owner or occupier and encourage them to apply for Council approval to make it legal. Legal work is not cleaned off by the Council.
- Working with a property owner or occupier to get a street art permit for your art work means you can now create a larger, higher profile piece of artwork without breaking the law.
Information for the community
In the City of Melbourne's experience, legal street art contributes to a vibrant urban environment, and may help to reduce graffiti tagging throughout the city.
Tips for the community:
- If you believe a site in your local area would be a great location for street art, or you know of an existing art work which deserves to stay, contact the property owner or occupier and suggest they apply for Council approval.
- If you see graffiti on property or infrastructure in your local area (eg post boxes, signal boxes), contact the City of Melbourne so we can arrange for its removal. All obscene, racist or offensive graffiti is removed as a priority.If you see someone placing graffiti on property you should call the Victoria Police on 000. Placing graffiti on private property without permission is a criminal offence and pursuing graffiti offenders is the responsibility of the Victoria Police.
Where can I find street art in the City of Melbourne?
The City of Melbourne has a diverse range of murals and street art displayed in its streets, lanes and underpasses. Some of this street art is legal and some is illegal. Legal street art can be identified by a permit number which will be publicly displayed on site of the artwork.
The City of Melbourne has established a street art register to help people find those legal sites that have a street art permit.
Go to Registered street art applications for full details.
For more information about a specific permit application contact email@example.com or call 03 9658 8711.
What can I do if there is unauthorised street art in my neighbourhood?
Firstly check the list of street art permit sites at Registered street art applications to see if the art is listed.
If there is unauthorised artwork in your neighbourhood that you think should be removed, contact us online or call 03 9658 9658.