Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mayor Kassab, tear down these billboards!

Visual pollution can be as annoying and upsetting as any other form of pollution. And it can obscure the best features of a metropolis. So two years ago, Sao Paulo, Brazil Mayor Gilberto Kassab ordered that most outdoor advertising be taken down in the city.

Billboards, posters, tacky store signs, street banners, electronic ads, all were taken down. The result? According to the mayor, "The first thing that happened was that people felt a great sense of relief." But obviously, not the producers of all that advertising.

When a city's beauty is concealed behind advertising messages, can you really know the city? Perhaps not. But banning public advertising would seem to most Americans an impediment to First Amendment free speech and the ability to do business. Read the article and decide for yourself what's best for Sao Paulo -- or your city.
Sao Paulo Sells Itself.
Time - December 1, 2008
By Andrew Downie/Sao Paulo

In banning most outdoor advertising, the city reveals its charms and its governability.

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