Europe’s First Ad-Free City Replaced Billboards With Trees
The French city of Grenoble became the first European city to totally ban outdoor advertising, replacing over 300 billboards and installments with community notice boards and trees.
The city’s ban included 326 advertising signs – 64 of which were billboards – that were removed in the spring of 2015; although, bus and public transportation stations will still feature ads until the city’s contract with advertising company JCDecaux ends in 2019.
The change came as an election promise of Green party mayor Eric Piolle.
The municipality, which plays host to a population of 160,000, first started using outdoor advertising in 1976. By not renewing the outdoor advertising contract, the city stands to lose about $640,000 of income from the exchange.
“The municipality is taking the choice of freeing public space in Grenoble from advertising to develop areas for public expression,” said Piolle in a statement.