Thursday 25 December 2014

Billboards may double up as city seating in makeover plan

Published 23/07/2014 | 09:14

Cities in France have erected billboards with curled up bottoms that are used for public seating.

Dublin city is set for a make- over if a creative new plan, where billboards double up as seats, gets the green light.

Cities in France have erected billboards with curled up bottoms that are used for public seating.

“We’re always interested in new innovative ideas and when we do surveys there’s always a demand for public seating,” said Gerard Farrell of the Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID).

“It’s something we would like to see happening,” said Dublin City BID CEO Richard Guiney.

Mr Farrell said that while the business group is always looking for ideas on how to increase and improve seating in the capital, it comes with a price.

“It all costs money, how do we do it? This way it can be creative as well as functional,” Mr Farrell said.

He explained that the group regularly look to places like New York and Japan for ideas that would work here.

“We saw the IBM/Ogilvy (billboard and seating) idea in France and thought everyone would like more seating and we already have billboards all around the city.

“It’s something we looked at that and we would now like to trial,” stated Mr Farrell.

The next stage for the plan is to have it tested by the Beta Projects department in Dublin City Council, explained Mr Farrell.

“What worked in other cities we can do it here,” he added.

IBM is already working with Dublin City Council generating data on traffic in the capital.

And last March Dublin was one of 16 capitals to be awarded the IBM Smart City grant valued at just under €500,000.

This new seating-ad hybrid is a concept coordinated by the computer giant and advertising company Ogilvy.

Their design is known as Ads with a Purpose. They have also done similar designs with bus shelters and ramps in cities.

jfegan@herald.ie

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