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“Prague is Not Disneyland”. The City Creates a Manual to Reduce Visual Smog

Earlier this week, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib posted on his Facebook account that the city had created a new “Manual for a Cultivated Prague”, which delineates visual esthetic practices for the capital’s businesses.

Ms Třeštíková also said that the sudden crash in tourism could be used as an opportunity to reform some of the tourist locations in Prague, removing what has been called the “visual smog” in the capital, such as the many Thai massage parlors.

“The manual is the next step in the fight for a cleaner city center, following the slogan Prague is not Disneyland. The coronavirus crisis may also be an opportunity for change,” she adds.

The “Manual for Cultivated Prague” is a set of rules containing different decrees, regulations, and laws. According to Třeštíková, it is not a binding document. “We will explain through pictures what is advisable and what is not,” says Třeštíková.

The aim is, for example, to remove unnecessary stickers and to eliminate plastic boards with photographs of dishes typical of Chinese restaurants.

“At the moment, the streets of Prague are like a room where people speak very loudly and everyone are shouting. If we manage to talk a little more quietly, everyone will hear them,“ remarked the author of the manual, Kristýna Drápalová.

Moreover, the Prague Technical Communication Agency (TSK) will end its practice of renting placements for advertisers on billboards and posters in other public places.

The advertising is seen on bridges, billboards and other signage. Often the signage is in the middle of sidewalks or other places which are disadvantageous to pedestrians.

The city is also preparing a grant program to motivate entrepreneurs to follow the rules. They could get money, for example, to repair their facade, if they get rid of visual smog.

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