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Wroclaw’s ‘Cultural Park’ Now Active

New legislation intended to rid Wroclaw's old town of large and ugly advertisements is now active. First proposed back in the summer of 2013, the 'Cultural Park' area places tough restrictions on advertising within its city centre borders.

Modeled on the Krakow system, the legislation bans the use of ads that damage the aesthetics and image of the area or building where they are placed.

Supporters of the new laws believe that regulating the advertising within the old town will not only make the area easier on the eye, but also increase the impact of those adverts that are permitted. They argue that in some city centre streets (e.g. Ruska) there are so many ads that it results in none of them actually being noticed.  

The area covered by the legislation, which is illustrated below, includes the old town, Kościuszki square, the islands opposite the University and the area surrounding Ostrów Tumski. 

Wroclaw's miasto's guide to the Cultural Park outlines its priorities: 

"The beauty of the city should be shown without illegal advertising displays, graffiti on walls, tacky and poorly designed advertising signs, etc" 

Aside from the massive billboard ads covering old buildings, the cultural park also intends to put an end to smaller adverts printed on adjustable stands, such as those placed on nearby pavements by restaurateurs.

Ads on abandoned cars and bikes are forbidden too, while cars and vans that drive around with blaring megaphones is another advertising medium banned in the new regulations. To stop companies profiting from fake renovations by selling ads on top of scaffolding, limits have also been placed on the amount of time companies can have scaffolding masking their building.

On top of that, the rules state that promotional activities such as handing out leaflets are not permitted either. Even if you were to put a banner hanging from your own window or fence, that too would fall foul of the new rules.  

Before (left) and after (right) – how the cultural park rules will affect the look of the city

While the Cultrual Park concept won't be welcomed by all entreprenuers, particularly those who want to promote their small businesses in the city centre, most Wroclawains appear to be supportive of plans to rid the old town of ugly ads. What could prove more controversial however, are the rules regarding music. The Cultural Park does permit noise from authorised music and sports events, but seems to have a go at street performers. Wroclaw Vice President Adam Grehl is quoted on the Cultural Park website as saying: 

 "Sometimes the music of street artists clashes with the music in the beer gardens, causing the sound to be drowned out."

From what we can see the Cultural Park regulations, there was no specific mention of street musicians being banned from performing. However, the way it is written appears to suggest that only organised musical events can take place within the boundaries of the Cultrual Park area. Therefore If the Police and city guards apply the law strictly, the days of busking on the Rynek appear to be over. 

What do you think about the proposals? Please give your opinion via the Facebooks comments box below:

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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