Capitalism, Fettered

The city of Sao Paulo has decided to fight the corporate takeover of their public spaces by calling a halt to outdoor advertising:

…billboards, outdoor video screens and ads on buses have been eliminated at breakneck speed. Even pamphleteering in public spaces has been made illegal, and strict new regulations have drastically reduced the allowable size of storefront signage. Nearly $8 million in fines were issued to cleanse São Paulo of the blight on its landscape.

…Although legal challenges from businesses have left a handful of billboards standing, the city, now stripped of its 15,000 billboards, resembles a battlefield strewn with blank marquees, partially torn-down frames and hastily painted-over storefront facades. While it’s unclear whether this cleanup can be replicated in other cities around the world, it has so far been a success in São Paulo: surveys indicate that the measure is extremely popular with the city’s residents, with more than 70 percent approval.

Take that, Capitalism.

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