Poznań has a landscape resolution again. Perhaps permanently already. After comments from the governor, councilors passed the revised document on Tuesday. Some of the provisions, however, raise objections. Critics point out, among other things, their imprecision, but the City rejected all comments on the draft. So will the resolution effectively combat advertising chaos?
This is the second time Poznań has welcomed a landscape resolution, i.e. a document that organizes the rules for the placement, number and size of advertising media, signs and fences. The first was in late January, but a month later the governor invalidated the document in its entirety. He cited three formal reasons. The first was the lack of explicitly written rules defining the adaptation of existing advertisements to the new regulations. The second was the distinction between legal and illegal advert isements and the associated problems with adjustment deadlines. The third concerned the failure to take into account in part one of the comments on murals.
At first, Poznań Mayor Jacek Jaskowiak treated it as a political issue and announced a court fight. Later, the magistrate lowered his guard and decided to comply with the governor's recommendations. An analysis of the situation showed that this would simply be faster. Previously, however, the City did not care about speed. Work on the resolution began in 2017! Their completion after two years at the latest (and the perfect quality of the document) was announced by Piotr Libicki, the mayor's plenipotentiary for the aesthetics of public space (city visual artist). However, for vaguely explained reasons, the procedure got bogged down at City Hall, only to accelerate again a year ago.
After the governor's comments, the document was slightly revised. Among other things, the definition of a mural on... the roof of a building was introduced (this was one of the voivode's objections), and—which is beneficial for the urban space—the adjustment period for existing advertising in all zones into which the resolution divides the city area was shortened to one year (previously—to five years).
Landscape resolution for Poznań—division into zones
Source: © www.poznan.pl/krajobrazowa/
The modified resolution was displayed—in accordance with regulations—for public review in April, after which all 392 comments submitted to it (contained in 41 letters) were rejected wholesale, which can be considered an arrogant and facade approach to public consultation. Indeed, those comments that dealt with imprecise or puzzling definitions in the draft were also not understood. They were systematically enumerated by the facebook fanpage Poznaniator, critical of the actions of the Poznań authorities. Poznaniator counts as a substantive channel, although its credibility is undermined by a stubborn desire to preserve the anonymity of the people behind it. Thus, it was all the easier to disregard or remain silent (some local media also do so) on the issues it raises.
However, the sloppy nature of the amendments (including the failure to remove typos) was also pointed out by the association Inwestycje dla Poznania, with a long tradition of substantive analysis of city projects and intentions. Before the vote, IdP posted a lengthy commentary on Facebook. In it, it aptly notes that
Ithurts (...) the fact of rejecting (...) logical, justifiedproposals, no matter by whom they are submitted. The key thought in the justification for the rejection of ALL comments is „The adopted parameters were developed over the past years and represent a compromise between the expectations of the public party, municipal entities and also advertising operators.” So in other words: eight years we deliberated, finally the text was created, we know/see that it has flaws, but for goodness sake, them it will finally go into effect! And then it will improve after all... Unfortunately, the defects and errors noted by us or by others will probably NOT be removed. If only for fear that the process will take another X years. The law will work on the principle of "somehow it will be."
better already 2024?
Mayor Jaskowiak commented laconically on the re-adoption of the resolution:
Does this mean the end of advertising chaos in the capital of Greater Poland? It now depends on the Governor of Greater Poland, who in February already once invalidated the document, which delayed the cleanup of public spaces from illegal advertisements.
However, there are many indications that this time—according to the governor's declaration—there will be no such interference. In a dozen or so months Poznań should be free of chaotically placed advertisements. Under what rules will this happen? The resolution divides Poznań into the aforementioned four areas: old-town, historic districts and the center, natural and urbanized. For each there are different restrictions and rules regarding the size, location and type of ads and signs. The resolution also puts the issue of fences in order, although it does so somewhat vaguely. For a better understanding of the provisions, the amount of fines and fees, and the controversies surrounding the adopted document, IdP has prepared a guide available online .
Guide to the landscape resolution by the association Inwestycje dla Poznania
source: © idp.org.pl
after crushing scrutiny
Perhaps municipal entities will also benefit from the guidebook. A comment by Tomasz Hejna, who actively and very effectively fights illegal advertising in the city (he runs a fanpage on FB called Gemela Poznańska), reminds us of their role. Hejna addresses the mayor on FB:
Hundreds of illegal advertisements in the resource managed by you (Department of Real Estate Management, City Road Administration) are not some invention of mine. These issues are still disorderly to this day, and you claim that everything is ok (...). I will not let the Lord separate this with a thick line. These are years of neglect. Sure, a landscape resolution [is] needed. This I absolutely do not deny, although its quality leaves much to be desired.
The negligence in question here is enumerated in a report by the Supreme Chamber of Control, which visited Poznań after last year's notice by Hejna. In May of this year, the Supreme Audit Office accused Poznań's mayor of tardy and inadequate action on illegal advertisements. It also pointed out that the City had been ineffective in collecting money for the use of public land occupied by advertising media. In a harsh statement about the advertising chaos in Poznań, the NIK also announced that it would notify the prosecutor's office. The case is pending.