A volunteer community action group in Podgórze has launched a plan to rid the area of unsightly, overbearing advertising hoardings – by cooperating with local business owners.
Ładne Podgórze, a loose association of local residents, have come together to offer local businesses free help to comply with the imminent extension of city rules restricting advertising in public places.
In 2011, the provisions of Krakow’s Park Kulturowy (Cultural Park) came into force in the Old Town area, giving business owners and residents six months to remove overbearing and ugly signs.
The Park Kulturowy rules will soon be extended to Podgórze, sparking fears among local businesses, already alarmed by the extension of paid parking zones to the area, that being forced to change their signage will be another financial burden.
Before and after visualisation of ul. Kalwaryjska (Stowarzyszenie ŁAD)
The Krakow Post spoke to Marcin Radosław Dzierzak, a member of Ładne Podgórze, about their plans to help ul. Kalwaryjska become one of the city’s finest shopping streets.
“The idea started when a friend of mine took a stressful trip to a shopping centre and failed to find what he needed,” said Marcin, “Driving back home, he spotted a small shop just down the street that had exactly what he wanted. He just hadn’t noticed it before because of the forest of competing advertising.”
For Marcin, the problem with excessive, poor-quality shop signs is twofold: it overwhelms the senses to the point where nobody reads them, so they don’t know what is on offer locally, and they give the impression of a poor-quality shopping area. “In fact,” continues Marcin, “everything we need is right here in our neighbourhood.”
Persuading local businesses of these failings has not been easy, but the planned extension of the Park Kulturowy rules has given Ładne Podgórze strong backing. “We take the view that it is better to convince local businesses than to force them by law,” said Marcin.
“We also understand that nobody wants to spend money on new signs if they don’t have to,” Marcin continued. “That’s why we are offering them the free services of local designers who work with Ładne Podgórze to help get the best results.”
The first fruits of the group’s labours are already evident, as several cooperating businesses on ul. Kalwaryjska have now installed their new signs.
In the long term, Ładne Podgórze envisions a close-knit association of local businesses – something like a medieval guild – committed to improving the appearance and quality of local shops for the benefit of all.
Find out more at: ladne.podgorze.pl