The Convoluted Path to Ending Los Angeles's Mural Ban

March 22, 2012
How the city is working with artists to revise its rules about murals, art and advertising.

Once regarded as the mural capital of the world, Los Angeles in recent years has lost a good deal of its street art cred. Decades of loose regulation on signs and murals led to some creative law-skirting by outdoor advertising firms, bringing about a string of lawsuits and rule changes – and more lawsuits and more rule changes. The eventual result was an all-out moratorium on new murals.

City officials are now trying to welcome mural artists back with a proposed new ordinance. But this regulation battle still has to deal with the particularly pesky monkey on its back.

Urine the Money With L.A. Sidewalk Ads

September 30, 2009
Now they're steam-cleaning corporate logos into the thick sidewalk filth.

The round, black scar of years-old chewing gum. Uneven cracks from an earthquake or a tree root. Fresh urine, likely human.

This is what you can’t avoid seeing if you walk the sidewalks of downtown Los Angeles. But now there’s a new addition getting etched into the city’s built-up filth: about 4 feet by 3 feet, with slick typography and marketing-room appeal, a patch of sidewalk on Figueroa Street now boasts a message brought to you by your friends at Audi.

Lamest Land Use of the Week

August 8, 2008
Pizza is delicious. Crop circles are cool. But what happens when you put them together? This happens. And it is horrible.

A crop-pizza now covers six acres of Colorado farmland. It's directly under two flight paths leading into Denver International Airport, according to a recent article in the Rocky Mountain News. So when people peer out from their window seats, instead of looking down on the quilted tapestry of American land use patterns they see pizza.