Harbour Views 19 July 2007


Billboards and TV screens in parks are unsightly and inappropriate


The use of our parks for billboards and tv screens is wrong, and a review of the park management policy by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) is called for.

The space on the unsightly and inappropriate billboards constructed in Statue Square has been sold as a commercial benefit to, and has been bought by, sponsors of the 2009 East Asian Games to increase their brand awareness and to display their association with the event. There is no benefit to the public. Commercial operators would be more than happy to promote their association with the games in their own advertising as it enhances their image and buys them public goodwill. And the LCSD has many other opportunities to create awareness of the games without creating visual noise.

The placement of billboards in Statue Square is financial exploitation of what is supposed to be a leisure facility.

Another example of the misguided management policy by LCSD is its claim that the large TV screen in Victoria Park increases productivity. This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of its responsibilities. The addition of the TV screen is in fact entirely counterproductive. The function of leisure facilities is to provide relief from the constant noise and visual intrusion of our hectic city life.

In short, the LCSD has taken a dramatically wrong turn in the manner with which it manages the facilities entrusted to its care. TV screens and billboards belong in football stadiums and along our streets - not in our parks.

If we don't stop the LCSD in its track, then there will be no place to hide.

We urge the LCSD to safeguard our leisure facilities for their purpose - that is to provide relief, space, peace, quiet and relaxation. This especially so for the elderly and handicapped who are unable to go to the country parks and solely rely on easy accessible city facilities.