2018 National Planning Conference

Can Billboards Be Placemakers?

Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. CDT

Location: R09

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188036


  • Strategies for establishing joint partnerships between outdoor-media public art, the public realm, and community-benefit funding
  • How to evaluate if media partnerships can help reinvigorate a specific public space
  • Current industry standards for digital advertising and their relationship to driver distraction, spillover light, and community value


Harnessing digital technology and the growing field of digital artists, media companies are working with cities to bring art out of the gallery and into the public realm, reinvigorating urban spaces in New York, West Hollywood, Atlanta and Denver. With the right guidance, planners can use billboards to reinforce the great qualities of urban spaces, and encourage people to experience light and art in new ways. Urban designers, planners, and public art and media strategists will take part in a lively panel discussion about how billboards are anchoring place-making opportunities to invigorate the public realm. Discuss the challenges of changing the public image and amending the function of billboards to catalyze positive change. This panel explores a unique opportunity for billboards on the Sunset Strip, ways new advertisers and technology are changing the way we can use billboards as a vehicle for public art, and the ongoing benefits of bringing art to the street. Panelists will describe recent projects, the progression of policy ideas to implementation, successes, and pitfalls.

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Session Speakers

Bianca T. Siegl
City of West Hollywood
Los Angeles, CA

David Ehrlich
Finwater Advisers

Anna C. Muessig
San Francisco, CA

Jennifer M. Ball
Central Atlanta Progress, Inc.
Atlanta, GA

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