Learning from São Paulo

Essay: TU Delft, 2010

This essay, written during my Master Studies at TU Delft reflects on what the billboard ban in São Paulo could mean for the debate of public space in a globalised world.
In January 2007 São Paulo (Brazil) is the first city worldwide to ban advertising from the public sphere, calling the agenda Cidade Limpa – Clean City. The law is pushed through by right-wing democrat Gilberto Kassab, an economist, civil engineer and São Paulo's mayor since 2006. By banning billboards and other kind of advertisement from the public sphere the advocates of Cidade Limpa aim to free the city from visual pollution. This way they believe the real beauty of the city can be revealed again.
By analysing, testing and questioning the statements of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown ("Learning from Las Vegas", 1977) in regards to the happenings in São Paulo, the essay touches upon the influence of market economy on public space and the significance of signage in the digital era.

Photo by Filipe Werner

cidade limpa
© Filipe Werner
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