The Center for a New American Dream follows up five years later on the banning of outdoor ads in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.
In September 2006, São Paulo’s populist mayor, Gilberto Kassab, passed the so-called “Clean City Law,” outlawing the use of all outdoor advertisements, including on billboards, transit, and in front of stores. Amidst alarmest claims that the decision to take down 15,000 billboards, logos and commercial slogans would cause a revenue loss of $133 million and a net job loss of 20,000 badly-needed employment packages, the law went into effect.
Five years later, 70 percent of city residents find the ban beneficial, particularly because they can now see previously overlooked architecture that reveals a rich urban beauty hiding behind the billboards.
No longer covered in homogenous and imposing signs, the unique character of São Paulo was able to resurface. Admittedly, not all of the revelations proved beautiful: shantytowns that pepper the city’s streets, once hidden under massive signs, revealed gross inequalities. But bringing the situation to light incited residents to improve conditions and begin discussing solutions. No longer could actual problems be masked by artificial solutions.
More news at the Center for a New American Cream. Did you see the excellent video: The High Price of Materialism | Tim Kasser for Center for a New American Dream.
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