The French city of Grenoble, the self-styled capital of the Alps, is to ban advertising hoardings and replace them with trees. The city's 326 advertising signs, including 64 billboards, will be removed between January and April next year and its contract with JCDecaux, the world's leading outdoor advertising company, will be cancelled, the Green mayor has announced.
"The municipality is taking the choice of freeing public space in Grenoble from advertising to develop areas for public expression," said the office of Eric Piolle, of the French Green party.
But Ms Lheureux said that with competition from internet advertising, revenues from street advertising if the contract were renewed would have fallen to just €150,000 a year. JCDecaux will however keep its advertising space on bus shelters in the city at least until 2019, when its current contract with transport authorities runs out.
The plan to curtail outdoor advertising was a campaign promise by the Green mayor when he ran in recent municipal elections and he claims it is "a European first for a large city". The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo set a precedent when in 2006 it passed a law banning advertising from its streets. But in 2012 it eased the ban when it awarded JCDecaux a contract to erect 1,000 clocks that provide locals with information such as the time, temperature and air quality as well as city information.