Visual Pollution

When we mention pollution our thoughts immediately spring to plastic bags, smog, rubbish and recycling. But pollution is not limited to these blights on humanity’s existence.

Visual Pollution

Pollution incorporates anything that impairs the natural order. Noise and the visual are also included, but often dismissed in favour of carbon footprints and global warming.

Advertising, billboards mounted at every turn in the city and along our highways are visual pollution. They are an eyesore, a corporate canker eating at our senses.

São Paulo, nary a billboard in sight



“In 2006, Gilberto Kassab, mayor of São Paulo, Brazil, passed the ‘Clean City Law.’ Citing growing concerns about rampant pollution in his city, Kassab decided enough was enough. But this was no ordinary piece of pollution legislation. Rather than going after car emissions or litterbugs, Kassab went after the billboards. Yes, you read that right: Kassab wanted to crack down on ‘visual pollution.'”

Source: Good Cities Read more


It’s interesting to note the opinions of the corporations and companies, that before the ban they didn’t realise how ineffective billboard advertising was.

Pity more cities didn’t take the same stance.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Awhile back I became acquainted with the astronomy club in my area. The president who is also a college professor speaks often about light pollution … specifically lights generated by advertising signs and signs in front of businesses. A local grocery store wanted a variance from county laws to allow them a brighter and bigger sign. The energy used for this sign would be cause enough for concern but it would also be so bright that it would also confuse wildlife, changing the course of nature. So, the astronomy club got busy and spread the word … and a whole lot of people in this county wrote letters and showed up for county hearings on the subject. We won and the store, or anyone else for that matter, won’t be able to put up huge, bright signs. In fact, new county laws were drafted, tightening up current light pollution laws, and have become a model for other communities around the country. We can make a difference! 🙂



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