Prague cuts down on visual smog as new decree takes effect this month

A new regulation limiting the placement of advertising in Prague has gone into effect as the city takes to the streets to remove illegal billboards.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 02.10.2021 14:26:00 (updated on 02.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Last year, we wrote about the approval of a new decree designed to limit visual smog in the city of Prague. The decree, which targets tarpaulin advertising (canvas material typically stretched across the front of buildings), has officially taken effect as of October 1.

The new regulation is designed to rid Prague of unsightly and unregulated advertisements, and open up historic buildings that had previously been covered beneath advertising.

"There are a number of beautiful houses in 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 city," Petr Hlaváček, Prague's deputy mayor, stated last year after the decree was approved.

This kind of advertising had already been prohibited in the Prague's historic center, but the new decree extends that ban to surrounding districts including Vinohrady, Letná, Dejvice, Smíchov, and elsewhere.

The city's laws on advertising in public spaces break Prague into three zones, with tarpaulin advertising on building facades now banned from the first two.

"A new regulation enters into force and new rules of outdoor advertising are beginning to apply in a large part of the territory of Prague," the city's Institute for Planning and Development writes on Facebook.


Retail space for rent, 53m<sup>2</sup>

Retail space for rent, 53m2

Prvního pluku, Praha 8 - Karlín

Office for rent, 21m<sup>2</sup>

Office for rent, 21m2

Michalská, Praha 1 - Staré Město

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 58m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 58m2

Petržílkova, Praha 5 - Stodůlky

"For Prague, this means liberation from the tasteless advertisements on the facades of buildings, which are thus degraded to mere advertising media."

"The regulation, which regulates advertising since 2006, is now extended to all other protected areas: especially to districts in the wider center of Prague such as Vinohrady, Letná, Dejvice, Smíchov, and also to other areas where the protection zone of the Prague Monument Reserve extends."

In separate but related news, the City of Prague has taken proactive steps to remove illegally-placed billboards in other areas around the city.

According to city officials, dozens of billboards were illegally installed on Prague streets during the Covid-19 pandemic. Those are now coming down, with the costs being passed to the companies responsible for the advertising.

The cost of removing a billboard, using a metal grinder and a truck with hydraulic lift, is estimated to be between two and three thousand crowns. Thirteen billboards were removed in such fashion over the past weeks, with dozens more to come.

"No lease agreement has been made with the city for these advertising spaces, they are in conflict with the Prague building regulations, and they do not even have any permission from the road administrative authority. Someone just came and placed a [billboard] on city land and began to rent it," said Jan Chabr, Prague's councilor for property management.

"We also appeal to businesspeople to check who they buy from, and not support those who place media illegally."

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