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Shanghai plans to restrict billboards
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Shanghai will ban billboards in historic areas, near traffic lights and road signs and atop 20-story buildings, according to a draft regulation released online for public comment.

The draft has been posted on the urban planning bureau's website at http://www.shghj.gov.cn/. Comments can be submitted until November 10.

If the plan is approved by the city government, it would constitute the first comprehensive set of regulations specifying locations for outdoor advertising.

The draft regulation sets out no-billboard zones in 632 places that have important historic or cultural heritage sites as well as in protected scenic areas. Kangping Road, Wukang Road and Shanyin Road in the downtown, for example, would be cleared of billboards in order to keep them from disturbing the ambiance along streets lined with traditional Shanghai residences.

Other areas of the city are segregated into two categories: billboard display zones, where outdoor advertising is allowed along commercial spots such as Nanjing Road and Xujiahui and areas where billboards will be allowed but in controlled numbers.

"The detailed requirements for setting up outdoor billboards are also clearly stated in the new regulations," said Xu Ming, an official with the urban planning administrative bureau.

Dark at the top

To curb light pollution and enhance street-side safety, no billboards would be allowed on top of 20-story buildings or those taller than 60 meters.

Billboards would also be banned from within 5 meters of any traffic safety devices or signs as well as within entrances to public buildings where there is significant traffic flow.

Signs would also banned from a 15-meter area around intersections to avoid distracting drivers.

The rules also limit the size of billboards at public venues. For example, a billboard at a transit bus stop should be less than 2.5 square meters to avoid disturbing passengers.

(Shanghai Daily October 15, 2008)

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