Yesterday we discussed the effort of cities to do something about too much commercial expressions in their streets. We concluded that most cities find it very hard to find a balance between prohibiting of private initiatives and earning money with advertisement spaces leased by the authorities themselves. Here is another brilliant example from Genoa. The rather chique shopping street Via XX Settembre is one of the most famous and beautiful areas of this North Italian city. In order to preserve its character, the municipality has made a deal (or a decision) with the entrepreneurs along the shopping arcade. Advertising in light is made possible, but only in the same style, which therefore becomes immediately recognizable as the Genovese light sign style. The street’s main characteristic is its light advertising which looks as a physical translation of augmented reality at first sight.
The Genovese authorities have to deal with some big companies along the expensive shopping lane, all having their own famous logos and advertising methods. Here the local government has obviously won the battle about the character of public space. Even big companies such as McDonald’s had to adapt to the Genovese light style.