Despite the concerns, the law passed and the 15,000 billboards cluttering the world’s seventh largest city were taken down. Five years later, São Paulo continues to exist without advertisements. But instead of causing economic ruin and deteriorating aesthetics, 70 percent of city residents find the ban beneficial, according to a 2011 survey. Unexpectedly, the removal of logos and slogans exposed previously overlooked architecture, revealing a rich urban beauty that had been long hidden.
“My old reference was a big Panasonic billboard,” Galvao told NPR. “But now my reference is an art deco building that was covered [by the massive sign]. So you start getting new references in the city. The city’s now got new language, a new identity.”
Under Tomorrow’s Sky was a two day think tank about a possible future city. From the description:
Under Tomorrows Sky is a fictional, future city. Speculative architect Liam Young of the london based tomorrows thoughts today has assembled a think tank of scientists, technologists, futurists, illustrators, science fiction authors and special effects artists to collectively develop this imaginary place, the landscapes that surround it and the stories it contains.
I highly suggest checking out the entire site.
The “city” was made up of 300 interconnected high-rise buildings, only a few city blocks wide. It was built without the contributions of a single architect and ungoverned by Hong Kong’s health and safety regulations.
It was demolished in 1993 and turned into a park.
When I visited Hong Kong in 2001 I stayed in the Chungking Mansions where I met students who had grown up in and told me about Kowloon Walled City. I’d never seen these photographs (DailyMail article from 2011) before today.
More about the city here.
When you see an aging building or a rusted bridge, you are seeing nature and man working together. If you paint over a building, there is no more magic to that building. But if it is allowed to age, then man has built it and nature has added into it — it’s so organic.