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Better late than never. Gdynia cleans up advertising chaos and joins Gdansk and Sopot

05 of September '23

Cleared of advertising chaos, the space will already please the eyes throughout the Tri-City. Five years after Gdansk and Sopot, Gdynia has also adopted a landscape resolution.

Until now, residents of Gdynia could look at Sopot and Gdansk with envy. There, resolutions ordering advertising freemarketing have been in effect since 2018. The effects in the space are impossible not to notice. Illegal advertisements have disappeared from buildings, including those that officials could not deal with for many years. For example, the giant illegal media hanging on Zieleniak - one of the city's most distinctive buildings. The signs are also impressive today, thanks to the new provisions: elegant, minimalist, orderly.

However, in other municipalities in the province, changes are moving at a snail's pace. Assistance with the preparation of landscape resolutions last year was offered to municipalities by the association Metropolitan Area of Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot (which brings together 61 Pomeranian municipalities, cities and counties), giving them proposals for ready-made provisions, which, after adaptation and consultation, they could implement at home. Nevertheless, it's hard to resist the impression that the adoption of the resolutions is still going like clockwork.

better late than never

In Gdynia, councilors approved the resolution on August 30 this year. (an earlier attempt was made by the city in 2021, but formal difficulties stood in the way). Why did the preparations take so long?

To date, 64 landscape resolutions have been adopted in Poland out of 2,500 municipalities, Jacek Piątek, the City of Gdynia's landscape designer, tells the Architektura i Biznes portal.

A significant number of municipalities amended the new provisions or passed them twice, if only because they were challenged. The procedures are quite complicated. So we waited for court rulings and looked at other cities to see how they work. Secondly, some municipalities outsourced the design of such a resolution to external companies. We, on the other hand, carried out this project as part of our ongoing tasks, in the meantime working on improving the quality of public space. Absolutely, therefore, it was not wasted time.

The bad news is: residents will have to wait a little longer for big changes. The good news: Gdynia has decided on the shortest adjustment period provided for in the law. The time to remove both illegal advertisements and adjust those placed according to the law is 12 months.

Downtown will be beautified

Importantly, large-format advertising on buildings and free-standing billboards will be restricted in the urban space.

In Zone A, including the historic downtown, they will be completely banned. In Zone B, they will admittedly be allowed to appear, but under very strict conditions. We have limited the maximum size of billboards there, moving them away from the zone of intersections. The resolution also provides for regulating the distance between media and the distance of their location from buildings. For service or semi-service buildings, we also provide detailed rules for displaying signboards. Most signboards will be located on the first floor. We expose facades and organize the space with commercial information by limiting it and indicating its proper location," enumerates Jacek Piątek.

Not only advertisements

In addition, the adopted landscape resolution provides for, among other things, unification of small architecture of public spaces, streets and squares in terms of style and design. It specifies the colors of certain elements of small architecture, maximum gabbiness, and even standards for parcel post. Fences must take into account different types of development. Their quality and aesthetic standards are also written down.

Entrepreneurs will be supported in the design of advertisements and signs by the Office of the City Artist, while enforcement of the provisions will fall to the Board of Roads and Greenery in Gdynia.

The examples of Gdansk and Sopot emphatically show that regulations governing advertising are not a fad, but a necessity. When the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship summed up five years after the landscape resolution went into effect in April this year, the balance sheet was as follows: 500 removed billboards, more than 330 administrative fines totalling more than PLN 3 million. And 5,500 projects for new signs and advertisements reviewed by officials. The changes can also be seen with the naked eye in Sopot;a total of more than 1,300 advertisements have been removed from the city space. Last year, the last large billboard on Niepodległości Avenue disappeared from the resort.

Now it remains to wait for the effects in Gdynia.

Ewa Karendys

The vote has already been cast

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