Beijing strikes billboards in bid to beautify buildings

Beijing is ramping up a citywide campaign to tear down billboards and logos that protrude from the edges of buildings in a bid to remake the city’s skyline.

As of the end of last week, nearly a third of the 27,000 billboards labeled irregular by municipal authorities have been taken down in the “skyline operation,” the government-run Beijing Daily reported, citing official sources.

The removals ramped up in November, began at the same time as mass evictions across Beijing, which saw tens of thousands of locals – mostly “low-end population” migrants and workers – being kicked out of their homes and out of the city altogether. The evictions are officially part of a 40-day safety campaign, however waves of demolitions have raised suspicion the city is trying to redesign and gentrify itself .

The city’s new skyline campaign, which was initially set out in September, aims to “ purify the city space and to create a beautiful skyline.”

So far, a third of the 27,000 newly illegal signs have been removed.

Beijing is currently targeting “knife signs,” logos, and billboards that sit above a building’s edge and cut into the sky.

Other signs cannot be more than three stories high, longer than five feet, use reflective materials or external lighting . Buildings taller than three stories are also limited to only have the building’s name displayed on its roof.

Banks, hospitals, luxury hotels, internet companies and even some state-owned enterprises and government organizations have lost the “titles” fixed to the roofs of their buildings in recent days.

“I don’t think our cityscape has become more attractive (with buildings) looking like bald heads. Now, those of us with a terrible with sense of direction won’t be able to find a place, even when we are there,” said one Weibo user.

A hotline has also been set up for individuals to report illegal billboards.

Image Source: Visual China

by Israt Yasmin, The Blogging Connection