Oświęcim without ugly advertisements. Officials have announced the start of work

The City of Oswiecim wants to tidy up the issue of advertisements, banners and signs within the city. The changes are to be particularly visible in the Old Town. In this way, the aesthetics of the entire town will be improved, to the benefit of everyone. As a first step, local officials will prepare a resolution of intent. This is the first step on the way to creating legal regulations which will help tame the advertising chaos.

Only a dozen or so years ago, they were a real scourge on the landscape of Polish cities. The cup of bitterness has now been poured over and large urban centres have begun to introduce landscape resolutions, thanks to which many large-format adverts, colourful signs and banners have disappeared from the streets. The legislation has succeeded in improving the appearance of Krakow, Gdansk, Poznan or Gdynia. However, the problem of colourful posters has not been completely solved. Poland is moving in the right direction on this issue, but it is a long path that requires work and patience.

The largest urban centres in Poland already have their landscape resolutions. Resolutions have been adopted in Poznań (see HERE), Gdynia (HERE), Sopot (see HERE), Bytom (HERE) or Kraków (see HERE). Now smaller centres want to introduce similar regulations. An example is Oświęcim, which has just announced the start of work.

As a first step, Oświęcim councillors want to adopt an intention resolution. The resolution is to be the beginning of work on regulations which will set out the rules for placing advertisements on buildings or fences. The regulations will improve the aesthetics of the entire town. This will be felt by tourists visiting the Old Town.

Mayor of Oświęcim Janusz Chwierut admits that the introduction of new regulations will require cooperation and consultation with councilors, entrepreneurs and residents. Shops or service outlets should not lose out on the removal of the motley advertisements. Quite the contrary. A well-maintained area without colourful and garish signs is supposed to make the Old Town more attractive for residents and tourists.

It is the first step in tidying up the city of its ugly, often already badly damaged by the tooth of time, sometimes arbitrarily placed advertisements and banners. This chaos and clutter affects the perception of the city. Their aggressiveness of colour disturbs order. It is also a safety issue especially when we have advertisements close to the road lane. Adopting rules governing how advertisements should look will significantly improve the aesthetics of the city. They will not overshadow nice places or renovated buildings, historic tenements, ” says Janusz Chwierut, Mayor of Oświęcim.

The mayor wants the appearance of the city to be improved even in this term of the local government.

Officials in Oświęcim assume that at least two years will pass before the resolution comes into effect. Other cities in Poland that have adopted landscape resolutions allowed for a so-called transitional period. Entrepreneurs had two years to adapt the appearance of their premises’ signs to the new regulations. They will not be on their own.

The city wants to sign a contract with a company that will draw up rules for placing advertisements in urban space. The list of rules will be presented to the Regional Director of Environmental Protection, the Marshal of the Voivodeship and the Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments. Consultations with businesses and residents will also be important. A guide to good practice will be created to help design new signs. An intention resolution on the matter will be considered as early as 29 May this year.

How do other small towns deal with improving aesthetics? Ostrów Wielkopolski is an interesting example. The Ostrów Wielkopolski authorities are implementing the ‘Sign in the Rain’ programme, as part of which every year they choose a street which is to undergo aesthetic intervention. During the latest edition, Kolejowa Street was chosen. Entrepreneurs who have shops or service premises there were invited to take part in the programme. It included an educational workshop, where they learned how a nice new signboard can affect the perception of the entire shop. Experts then designed changes to the premises’ banners, and the city funded the making of the new ones. During the last edition of the programme, the appearance of four shops was changed. You can read more about the event HERE in the article we publish photos BEFORE and AFTER the makeover.

source: Municipality of Oświęcim

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