Billboards: Blight, or Right?

Are billboards visual pollution, or valuable information source? Sao Paolo, Brazil banned billboards in the city in 2007 and is an interesting case study.

Arkinet has many excellent photographs of Sao Paolo's former billboards. Could the city's billboard ban work in other cities, and would it be a good idea if so?

Arkinet writes, "Implementing what in current society is such a drastic measure–banning the very lifeblood of the global economy in the public realm–wouldn't be without its imperfections. Assuming the genuine intentions of the 'cleaner city' plan and its implicit commitment to preserving culture, finding means of minimizing ‘visual pollution' is just as logical as countering noise, air, water or any other form of pollution Of course, subjectivity comes into play if some equate visual pollution to aesthetic vibracy for what is a metropolis without the lights and flashing neon signs? New York without Times Square? Tokyo minus Ginza?"

Full Story: Publi-City or No Publi-City?



Smaller, shorter billboards

Personally, I prefer no billboards, however here, there are only a few. One is located only a few feet off the ground and located next to a hillside. Sometimes it features ads for local businesses, including the regional transit system.

I think that lowered heights and limited numbers of traditional billboards in strategically located places (not blighting skylines, for example) may be an option for communities that want to keep some.

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.