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Grenoble chooses tree buds over billboards

Grenoble, France is Europe's first city to forego advertising revenue from billboards to create more downtown space for trees and community bulletin boards. (Vinicius Pinheiro/flickr/cc)

In an effort to create more space for trees, Grenoble, France has become the first city in Europe to ban sidewalk billboards, France 24 reports.

The city in the French Alps made the decision after projecting that billboard revenue would dip from €645,000 ($793,000 U. S.) in 2014 to €150,000 ($184,000 U. S.) in 2015 following the introduction of digital versions that display multiple messages.

The ban is spearheaded by Mayor Eric Piolle, a Green Party member, who campaigned this year on a platform that included the advertising prohibition, the article says. “It’s time to move forward in making Grenoble a more gentle and creative city,” the mayor tells France 24. “We want a city which is less aggressive and less stressful to live in.”

From January to April, the city will remove 326 ad panels that fall under a soon-to-expire contract. Some additional panels will remain until 2019 because they fall under a separate contract. The removed advertising would be replaced by trees and community boards featuring pertinent information for city residents.

France 24

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