By Sabrine Tribié
SCRUB, the Public Voice for Public Space recently released a ground breaking study entitled “Beyond Aesthetics: How Billboards Affect Economic Prosperity“. The paper was written by urban planner Jonathan Snyder with the support of a grant from the Samuel S. Fels Fund. Snyder received a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 with a concentration in Community and Economic Development.
Snyder’s research focused on whether economic prosperity is best served by strict sign control laws. He combined US Census, local home price and zoning code data with geographic information system (GIS) and statistical analysis tools in order to address three key questions: What impact do billboards have on real estate prices in the City of Philadelphia? What impact do billboards have on home value within census tracts in the City of Philadelphia? What impact do billboard regulations have on median income, poverty rates and vacancy rates in different cities in the United States? No other known studies examine how billboards affect their surrounding area, or explore the relationship between billboard controls and the economic condition of U.S. cities.