Our cities are increasingly awash with advertising. Billboards covering our buildings and lining our streets contribute to the thousands—some estimates put the number as high as 5,000—of ad messages we are exposed to every day.
How can we cut through all this visual detritus and make better use of the urban landscape?
The Urban Air project has one solution: “floating, globally connected urban forests growing where billboards stand.” The brainchild of artist Stephen Glassman, Urban Air literally envisions replacing advertisements with Wi-Fi enabled aerial living bamboo gardens, complete with an integrated misting system and climate monitoring technology.
The project’s Kickstarter page describes the plan as transforming “the steel and wood of outdoor advertising into the infrastructure of urban sustainability in cities around the globe—actively, publicly, and collectively generating a green global future.”
Summit Media has donated billboard space for the project, which, if it raises its $100,000 goal, will see one prototype billboard in Los Angeles transformed into a suspended garden. Ultimately, Glassman hopes Urban Air can “put a crack in the urban skyline so that when people are compressed, squeezed, stuck in traffic and they look up, they see an open space of fresh air that allows them to take a breath, feel themselves as humans, and conceive of what might be.”
Visit Urban Air’s Kickstarter page here.