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Bytom joins the fight against adversity

Wiktor Bochenek
08 of February '23

Bytom joins Polish cities that are "de-advertising." On January 30 of this year, the Bytom City Council adopted an advertising resolution to significantly restrict advertising. How was this document organized?

"Dereclamation" in Silesian terms

Bytom is another point on the map of Poland where it was decided to introduce a municipal resolution limiting advertising media. The city, which is associated with heavy industry, historic architecture, but also the iconic Bolko Loft designed by Przemo Lukasik, decided to "clean up" its space from the typical post-transformation advertising chaos. Excessive signboarding and the number of advertisements exceeding all aesthetic standards had been bothering residents for many years. The document was finally passed in late January.

The adoption of the advertising resolution will help counteract the advertising chaos in our city. Due to the fact that the procedure for adopting this local law was quite complicated and required many arrangements, including with the Provincial Conservator of Monuments, the process of drafting the final text of the resolution took many months," justified Mariusz Wolosz, mayor of Bytom.

ostering and limiting

What does the advertising resolution contain? The document divides the city into three zones. The first covers downtown and historic areas of the city. The second concerns green and natural areas. The last zone focuses on other areas, as well as places designated as "commercial."

In the historic and natural zones, advertisements limit the size and amount of advertising to the first floor, storefronts and the entrance area of the building. The exception is the issue of historic signs in the original locations - in their case they can be preserved and fully exposed. In the historic zone, it is not possible to install freestanding billboards, illuminated advertising or place large-format ads on buildings.

The situation is different in commercial zones, where the possibility of larger format signs has been expanded for commercial, service or manufacturing buildings. The resolution allows the use of flagpoles or pylons in these areas. The approach to billboards is also looser.

Regulations on food gardens were also an important provision. The color scheme, as well as the materials used, should be standardized. The resolution defines the colors of umbrellas and awnings, greenery or just materials.

time for changes

The resolution stipulates adjustment periods for each type of media. The first to disappear are advertising nets and banners - the period for their elimination is twelve months from the introduction of the resolution. In the case of signboards, the period is two years. The resolution provides for a much longer period for the liquidation of billboards and advertising devices - in the historic zone it is as much as five years, while in the nature and commercial zone it is as much as eight years from the entry into force of the advertising resolution. In the case of Krakow's experience, where some media were liquidated only in the last week, this time seems to be greatly overestimated.

Ulica dworcowa w Bytomiu którą obejmię strefa zabytkowa z uchwały reklamowej

Bytom's Station Street, which is covered by the monumental zone of the advertising resolution

© UM Bytom | photo: Hubert Klimek

not only metropolises

The case of Bytom is interesting by the size of the city. Landscape Resolutions have been adopted with success with minor drawbacks mainly by large cities such as Gdansk and Krakow. Bytom, although not at all among small cities with a population of more than one hundred and fifty thousand, can be described as a medium-sized city. In the case of such cities, the fight against "advertosis" has often fallen to the wayside, mainly through the stifling problems of economic collapse. Cities are holistic structures, so noting the problems of aesthetics should be equally important to them.

With the evaluation of the Bytom landscape resolution and its effects, it is worth pausing, as perfectly demonstrated by the "Krakow exceptions", where small crocks continue to allow the hanging of ads. It's hard not to see a good direction, although it's worth observing the effects and correcting the "anti-littering" course.

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

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