[LYON] Commercial street advertising will be banned in Grenoble to make way for trees and community noticeboards, the eastern French city's new Green mayor announced Sunday.
"The municipality is taking the choice of freeing public space in Grenoble from advertising to develop areas for public expression," the office of Eric Piolle, of the French Greens, said.
Between January and April, 326 advertising signs, including 64 billboards, will be taken down and the city's outdoor advertising contract will be cancelled.
In place of the hoardings, "about 50 young trees will be planted before spring", the mayor's office said.
Starting in January, officials will offer local cultural and social groups free advertising space. The new signs will be smaller and aimed "not only at drivers, but also pedestrians", said Lucille Lheureux, deputy in charge of public spaces for the city.
There is a dispute over how much the greening of Grenoble's streets and cancelling of the old advertising contract will cost the city.
The mayor's office said the city used to pull in 600,000 euros a year selling advertising space, but that this figure had been expected to drop to 150,000 euros in the new year due the wider slump in advertising rates.