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Thread: Brazil billboard bans: first Sao Paulo, now Rio de Janiero "Clean City" initiative

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Brazil billboard bans: first Sao Paulo, now Rio de Janiero "Clean City" initiative

    From the Huffington Post, as well as many other online sources: Rio de Janiero is joining Sao Paulo in enacting the Clean City Initiative, which includes a "visual pollution ban", in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Officials in Rio de Janeiro are trying to make one of the globe's most beautiful cities even more stunning.

    Some 50 workers began tearing down billboards in front of iconic Guanabara Bay on Thursday, launching a campaign to remove distractions from the view of the emerald green Atlantic rain forest on the mountainsides and the white-sand beaches where visitors from around the world will be tanning during the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

    Mayor Eduardo Paes has ordered the removal of massive billboards, banner advertisements covering buildings and illegal advertising stuck to other spaces.

    The "Rio Limpo," or "Clean Rio" campaign, focuses first on downtown Rio and the city's wealthy southern zone that includes posh beach neighborhoods such as Copacabana and Ipanema. Eventually it will spread throughout the city of 6 million people.

    "It will reduce the visual pollution and environmental degradation in a city renowned for its natural and architectural beauty," City Hall said in a statement.

    The first targets were three billboards for a camera company, a bank and a make of cars perched on top of a 13-floor building in front of Guanabara Bay and near the Santos Dumont airport.

    Billboards advertising Nikon cameras and Kia cars were taken down from the building located on Beira Mar Avenue that links downtown Rio to Flamengo Beach. The billboards were among the first thing travelers landing at Rio's Santos Dumont domestic airport saw as they arrived.

    Rodrigo Prado, a spokesman for City Hall's Special Public Order Department, which is in charge of the campaign, said Clean Rio will further enhance the city known for landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain.

    Prado did not know how many billboards and unauthorized advertisements will be taken down, but local press reports say at least 300 will have to go.

    Prado said no studies have been made about the program's effect on advertising sales in Rio.

    Signs with the names of banks, restaurants, shopping malls and stores are allowed, but cannot exceed 107 square feet (10 square meters).

    The owners have six months to adapt their signs. If they don't they will be slapped with a daily fine of 570 reals ($297).

    In 2007, the city of Sao Paulo also tackled its "visual pollution" with a Clean City Law that banned outdoor advertising altogether.

    According to Sao Paulo's City Hall, 536,714 unauthorized outdoor advertisements were taken down in 2011 and 72 million reals ($37.3 million) worth of fines were collected.
    If only it were that easy in the United States or Canada.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Three cheers.

    A friend just came back from the state of Kerbala in southern India doing some kind of health clinic type missionary work. He was astounded by the visual pollution of the signage and the apparent total lack of even minimum setbacks for buildings.

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    Cyburbian
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    Clear Channel's lobbiest would never let this happen here.

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    Clear Channel's lobbiest would never let this happen here.
    I was thinking the same thing. Although while illegal (non-permitted) billboards are a rarity in the U.S., I'm tempted to think they're rampant in Brazil.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    Three cheers.

    A friend just came back from the state of Kerbala in southern India doing some kind of health clinic type missionary work. He was astounded by the visual pollution of the signage and the apparent total lack of even minimum setbacks for buildings.
    Ditto in Russia. Have you ever seen images of post-Soviet Russian major highways (ie, the Moscow Ring Road)?

    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    Clear Channel's lobbiest would never let this happen here.
    Yea, the last that I checked, Brazil does not have a 'Fifth Amendment'.

    Mike

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I was thinking the same thing. Although while illegal (non-permitted) billboards are a rarity in the U.S., I'm tempted to think they're rampant in Brazil.
    Back when cigarette advertising was still commonplace about 20 years ago or so, illegal eight-sheet billboards were a problem in many cities,

    While they might not act ethnically -- sign code shakedowns, anybody? -- I don't think the pros do much that could be called illegal now, at lest according to their lawyers' interpretation of the law. I do know they'll stretch and often go beyond the limits of the regulations in those places where billboards are allowed; for example, vinyl wrap "bleeds" around the frames of 24-sheet signs, increasingly larger cutouts expanding further beyond the limits of 48x14s, reflecting eye catchers, and so on. There's a lot of old billboards out there that were put up under questionable circumstances, and have been up for so long most just assume they're legal or nonconforming. Also, illegal amateur mom & pop billboards, usually built or painted by the advertiser, are still a problem in areas with lax code enforcement. Here's one illegal mom & pop billboard in Buffalo:



    Google Streetview is now in Thailand, and looking around that country, the billboards there have to be the biggest on the planet; I'm guessing in the range of several thousand square feet as the norm.

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian
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    The State of Maine has outlawed billboards via the Travelers Information Act, which limits off premises signs to directions only, and prohibits flashing signs and other unique visual characteristics. Its intent was to protect scenic beauty. Some people think it has actually detracted from downtown centers, while admittedly cleaning up more rural and suburban areas. Here's an article I wrote on it (with lots of neat photo renderings): http://www.portlandmonthly.com/pdf/SignLanguage.pdf

    I tried to present a balanced perspective, rather than taking a stance.

    On a side note about one of the comments from the thread on another country: With the setback requirements--in urban areas, there should be none. Setbacks were initially imposed by law to make way for street widening, which is not or arguably should not be the mission of a city, which plans ostensibly for its people not its traffic. Just my thought.

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