Prague to limit visual smog from large-scale advertising in public spaces

A new decree banning the placement of tarpaulins, poster advertising stretched across buildings, will take effect from next October

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 05.12.2020 12:26:00 (updated on 05.12.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague residents and visitors will get more opportunities to appreciate some of the city's historic architecture starting later next year under a new decree that aims to decrease visual smog in the city center.

The decree specifically targets tarpaulin advertising, canvas material which is typically strung up across the sides or even front facades of buildings and can reach several stories in height.

From October 1, 2021, this kind of advertising will be entirely banned from protected areas of Prague, which includes not only the city's historic center but also surrounding locales.

"There are a number of beautiful houses in the protected areas; advertising tarpaulins on the facades often cover them and thus completely change not only our perception of the architecture of the buildings themselves, but above all the overall impression of the space," Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček stated in a press release.

"We have been striving for a long time to improve the quality of public spaces, i.e. places that we share as residents of the city. I am glad that we are doing so not only through the construction of streets and squares, but also through legislative steps, which include the regulation approved today."

A current regulation dating from 2006 governs the placement of advertising in Prague's historic city center, but the decree approved yesterday will extend this to surrounding areas including Vinohrady, Letná, Dejvice, Smíchov and elsewhere.

Tarpaulin advertising in central Prague via IPR Praha
Tarpaulin advertising in central Prague via IPR Praha

"Advertising belongs in the city, but in a cultivated form. We therefore strive to establish clear and comprehensible rules for all types of advertising," states Prague Councilor for Culture, Monument Care and Tourism Hana Třeštíková.

"One of them is that advertising tarpaulins should not appear in protected areas."

To date, the placement of advertising tarpaulins has been largely unregulated in Prague. Unlike billboards and other forms of advertising, tarpaulins were not governed by any specific regulations that dictated size or placement.

The new decree, which takes effect from next October, has three levels of regulations that concern the city center's Prague Monument Reserve and outward into surrounding areas. In all of them, tarpaulin banners and vehicle advertising - billboards placed on cars and trucks on roads and in parking lots - will be prohibited.

Tarpaulin advertising in central Prague via IPR Praha
Tarpaulin advertising in central Prague via IPR Praha

In the historic center, stricter regulations will also ban the distribution of leaflets and flyposting in monument zones.

Billboards, posters, and other forms of advertising that are governed by current regulations will not be affected by the new decree.

"I am very pleased that the city is succeeding in continuing to regulate advertising," Prague Institute of Planning and Development Director Ondřej Boháč adds.

"The Institute of Planning and Development of Prague has long strived to create a cultivated public space in Prague again, where advertising has its clear rules. I believe that the extension of the decree will lead to a little better for all of us in Prague once again."

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more