Public art is a creative placemaking tool to enhance the quality of civic life and foster a sense of community. There is growing enthusiasm for public art to be integrated into the suburban environment in fostering a more culturally vibrant place. This paper explores the unique challenges faced in suburban public art planning. The City of Markham’s new public art program is used as a case study.
Successful public art in the suburb should reflect the local community’s history, values, or needs. Public engagement and collaboration is critical to creating public art that garners intrinsic connections. Generally, since suburban municipalities have smaller populations and lower developmental demand than urban cores, they should incorporate a variety of funding tools to effectively sustain their public art programs.
Markham should increase its efforts on engaging the public in all aspects of public art commissioning, and maximize their financial resources in order to increase the presence of its program.