Sunday, 11 March 2012

Is it time for a city without ads?

In 2007 Sao Paolo in Brazil became the first city in the world to ban advertising hoardings.

The move was designed to de-clutter the city's visual environment, protect its citizens from the rapacious consumer culture that is fuelling a personal debt crisis and the status anxiety of needing to keep up with the neighbours, and open up some of the 'hidden areas' behind adverts to improve community safety.

On all three counts, it has been judged to have been a success.

As cuts bite, and more 'core' services are being funded by selling advertising space, and allowing companies to 'brand' public infrastructure (consider, for example, the 'Adidas' logos prominent on basketball hoops in playgrounds around the city) is it time for Brighton and Hove to adopt the same policy?

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