About a third of all billboards in Prague are located on city land. Among them are those that contradict the Prague Building Regulations. The Capital City of Prague has now entrusted the Technical Administration of m. Prahy, as to suggest what to do with them.
In 2016, the Prague Building Regulations were approved, which set clear rules for billboards.
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It must not be located in protected areas or in forests and parks, the minimum distance between two billboards on one side of the road must be 100 meters or three times their area in m2. The Supreme Administrative Court also ruled last year that billboards should not be placed in so-called insulating green areas along roads.
“If you come to Prague by car, you can’t help but notice that there are still a huge number of billboards. And they are often much closer than a hundred meters behind them. That is why we have examined how it is with the fulfillment of the Prague Building Regulations, “says Adam Scheinherr, Deputy Minister for Transport.
Billboards are usually permitted as temporary constructions for five years, so in 2021 the real situation should theoretically more or less correspond to what the authors of the Prague Building Regulations, approved in 2016, intended. However, the City of Prague is true that the reality is not yet very close to the target state of the Prague Building Regulations. Out of approximately 1,060 billboards on municipal land (one third are double-sided carriers), 770 violates some of the above-mentioned provisions of the Prague Building Regulations; many others are also located in the area of insulating green. However, the numbers should be taken as approximate, as the exact current data is missing. That is why the city has now inspected the city company Technická správa komunikace hl. m. Prahy, as (TSK) in order to prepare an up-to-date passport of all buildings for advertising.
“The reason why there are still so many billboards in Prague, even though strict regulations already apply, is the poor law enforcement in our country. It’s a story similar to highway billboards, which have also been permanently removed for many years. Usually it works so that the billboard expires the building permit, the owner knows that he would not get a new one, so he does not ask for something and simply leaves the billboard standing. The building authorities are overcrowded and inspection activities are carried out very rarely, so it takes years, for example, before anyone even deals with it. And only then will the lengthy legal wheel begin, which should lead to the removal of the billboard, “by Kristýna Drápalová, who deals with visual smog at the Prague City Hall.
“There is valuable architecture and beautiful nature in Prague, but we often don’t see either because of the obstructing billboards. That’s why we had to follow at least what we can solve – billboards on city land. We don’t want to get rid of them completely, they just have less and in places where they don’t break anything, they don’t shine on people’s windows and they don’t endanger drivers. And extraordinary money should be returned to the city coffers for renting the land where it stands, ”says Adam Scheinherr.
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TSK therefore has the task of processing three documents. First, the current passport of all buildings for advertising, so that the city knows exactly where the billboard is located and whether it has a permit. Furthermore, the economic and legal analysis, which brings how and to what extent it is most advantageous for the city to rent land for the purpose of placing billboards. The third part of the task is the territorial balance, ie the selection of locations where billboards can be operated, in order to minimize their negative impact. Based on these materials, the city management can then find out what advertising strategy they will choose in the city. Through the working group, it also wants to involve representatives of city districts or advertising professionals in the process. Until the strategy is completed, however, the city will not issue any new permits, either to set up a new billboard or to extend a previously issued consent to place an advertisement.
The capital city of Prague is currently actively advancing against visual smog. In addition to advertising on urban land, TSK also deals with illegal advertising media along the roads, which it actively supports. At the beginning of October, a regulation on the regulation of advertising came into force, which significantly reduces large-format advertising tarpaulins. Last year, Prague also published a Manual for Cultivated Prague, which summarizes and illustrates the rules for advertising labeling of establishments (HERE).
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