Our concern:

Public spaces are places for encounters and cultural exchange as well as for social life and diversity. The design of public spaces has a direct impact on their function and thus on the quality of life in the urban space.

Advertising as a means of cultural, political and economic exchange is a component of public space. However, as advertising should attract attention and have a lasting advertising effect wherever possible, advertising installations must be conspicuous.

The increasing visual dominance of advertising in urban spaces has a negative impact on the streetscape, townscape and landscape as well as the architectural and urban design. The number of advertising installations on public land in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg alone has quadrupled since 2010 from around 1,000 to more than 4,000. The ongoing digitalization of advertising installations will further exacerbate the problem. The animated and moving content of such installations attracts attention and creates an undesirable disturbance in the urban space.

The amendment to the regulations for advertising structures in the Hamburg Building Code (HBauO) pursues the following objectives:

  • Reducing the number of advertising structures, particularly on public streets
  • Implementation of design specifications for advertising structures in order to integrate them into the cityscape and prevent advertising from visually dominating the streetscape, townscape or landscape
  • General ban on digital advertising systems and alternating light systems

The planned changes to the building regulations are to be implemented by means of direct democracy.

Our right to the city as a cultural space

The increasing commercialization and privatization of public space pose great challenges to the right to participate in cultural life as well as to the place itself, which should reflect a certain cultural diversity. The number of outdoor advertisements, their size, the choice of locations and the technologies used, such as digital advertising systems, make advertising omnipresent and inescapable. The moving advertising content of digital installations in public spaces is particularly intrusive. This technology takes advantage of the fact that any moving image on the periphery of our field of vision automatically grabs our attention and triggers a heightened level of alertness and stress, promoting message retention.

The reduction of advertising installations, the design specifications and the general ban on digital advertising installations will sustainably increase the quality of stay in public spaces.

Traffic safety

Advertising systems compete with traffic signs and traffic lights for the attention of road users. According to a study by the advertising company WallDecaux, the fixation time of motorists is 1.85 seconds for analog advertising systems and 2.38 seconds for digital advertising systems. At an inner-city speed of 50 kilometers per hour, a vehicle travels 33.05 meters in 2.38 seconds.

The reduction of advertising installations and the ban on digital installations ensure less distraction for road users. This is expected to have a positive impact on general road safety.

Environment and climate

Illuminated, backlit and digital advertising systems are responsible for a large proportion of light pollution and the associated negative effects on people and nature. The consequences of artificial light in the evening and at night range from sleep disorders to serious metabolic disorders.

For insects and birds, mating and migratory behavior as well as foraging are permanently disrupted, which ultimately leads to a reduction in biodiversity.

Digital advertising systems such as video monitors and media boards consume enormous amounts of resources and energy. A double-sided digital advertising system in CityLightPoster format (approx. 2 square meters of advertising space) has an annual energy consumption of around 15,000 kWh when in continuous operation. This corresponds to the consumption of around ten single households. When operating from 6 a.m. to midnight, the annual energy consumption is around 11,250 kWh.

The increasing digitalization of advertising systems therefore not only has a negative impact on the design of public spaces, but also counteracts the climate protection goals of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Section 2 of the Hamburg Climate Protection Act).

The general ban on digital advertising systems and the reduction of advertising systems on public property and the associated energy savings will enable the public sector to fulfill its special responsibility under the Hamburg Climate Protection Act.


According to the state election administrator, income from advertising rights contracts amounted to around 33 million euros in 2019. The income from the marketing of advertising rights to public transport passenger shelters is in the mid double-digit million euro range.

It is not possible to put an exact figure on the loss of revenue, as the Senate invokes the protection of business and trade secrets with regard to income from advertising rights contracts.

However, a total loss of revenue is not to be feared, as exceptions for advertising installations on public property, such as advertising on public transport passenger shelters, but also on classic advertising pillars, are still permitted.

If revenue is lost as a result of the change in the law, this will be offset by considerable benefits such as enhancing the quality of life in public spaces, saving energy, reducing light pollution and generally promoting road safety by reducing distraction.

Compensation claims due to the loss of advertising opportunities are not to be expected due to the transitional regulations.

The licensing agreements for advertising on public land in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which have been in force since January 1, 2009, were amended by the Senate with the contractual partners Wall GmbH and DSM/Ströer in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The contract amendments relate to a corona-related reduction in the contract fees for the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the extension of the contract term from the end of 2023 to 31 December 2026 and the option for the contractual partners to comprehensively digitize all installations.

According to the transitional regulation, advertising installations that are no longer permitted must be removed by December 31, 2026. As the licensing agreements will end on this date, claims for compensation by Wall GmbH and DSM/Ströer are excluded.

About us

We are Hamburg residents who care about their city. We are concerned about issues such as public space, architecture, urban planning, traffic safety and environmental protection.

We act independently of political parties. Our role model and partner is the Berlin Werbefrei initiative.






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