With a new ordinance, downtown Atlanta could get a lot brighter
"Downtown Atlanta is set to become much brighter under a proposed ordinance that would allow—and even encourage—expansive new digital billboards and flashing signs in the area that includes the CNN Center, Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and the sports arenas.
The changes are aimed to create a lively, colorful atmosphere around the main tourist destinations through the use of digital technology that could coordinate images and messages across a series of lighted signs to promote, say, major sporting events or local attractions. One of the models is L.A. Live, a glitzy complex adjoining the convention center in downtown Los Angeles that includes music venues, movie theaters, restaurants, and the Staples Center.
The proposal, introduced at City Council last week, would designate a so-called “arts and entertainment district” covering much of the downtown central business district with its own set of signage rules and guidelines, explained Jennifer Ball, vice president of planning and economic development for Central Atlanta Progress, which has taken the lead on the project.
The success of the plan, she said, lies in a trade-off in which sign companies and property owners would be allowed to install large, digital billboards in exchange for allowing those signs to be programmed by a quasi-governmental district authority during major downtown events. In this case, that authority would be the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, which is managed by CAP."
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