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April 24, 2019

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Regulations for signboards cover safety and beauty

New regulations covering outdoor signboards are to be issued this year following complaints from the public and store owners.

They will cover diversified designs for signboards and the involvement of businesses in the design process, Shanghai’s greenery authorities said.

“The regulations will give consideration to both safety and beauty,” said Le Jiahua, deputy director of the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau’s landscape management department.

Standard signboards have become a source of controversy in the city. Identical black backgrounds and white characters have troubled the public as the black-and-white design in Chinese culture often represents something solemn or an obituary.

In some cases, structural flaws in some old buildings made it difficult to install different styles of signboards and compromised safety, Le said.

In August last year, a signboard claimed three lives when it collapsed on Nanjing Road E. in Huangpu District. Citywide inspections were carried out and about 33,000 signboards were dismantled this year, with another 6,000 fixed.

Some districts and subdistricts are already encouraging diversified signboards.

The Hongmei Road Subdistrict in Xuhui District has suggested that businesses which had their signboards dismantled should design their own based on a basic framework. After their design plans are collected, authorities will set a unified street style based on these plans and then businesses will make adjustments based on that.

In Songjiang District, businesses can design their own signboards and even receive subsidies from authorities after they are approved.


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