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Mega-billboards: Menace to society or boost to urban energy?

March 25, 2009 | 11:30 pm

Billboard

No issue has engaged the city's pundits and power brokers more in the last few months than billboards -- or, to be more specific, the digital signs and wraparound supergraphics that are popping up all over Los Angeles.

In a piece appearing on Thursday's front page, I explore the urban-planning and aesthetic ramifications of this mushroom-like growth of signage. Is the new crop of highly conspicuous billboards a scourge -- or a boost to the energy of the streetscape? In a city where buildings have long acted like or aspired to be signs, and signs likewise have aimed for architectural presence, it's a more complex issue than you might guess.

Read about it here and share your comments below on Culture Monster.

-- Christopher Hawthorne

Photo: Corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street. Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times

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