Last November I posted Tasty or Tacky?  Public or Proprietary? and now the subject returns in today’s Chicago Tribune article by John Byrne and John Chase of digital billboards proposed for city property.

$150 million for the city in exchange for 20 years of 34 digital billboards as large as 20 feet by 60 feet on city land along the Dan Ryan, Kennedy and other freeways.  Also, advertisers eager to pay the city for use of 375 garbage cans in the Loop.

Density marks urban life.  Lots of traffic.  But often we like it because it gives us choices.  Food, culture, people.  City dwellers, and there are increasing numbers of us in North America and throughout the world, are attracted to cities for precisely these reasons.  We like the buzz of human life not found in wide open spaces.

Yet, how much?  I stand in the grocery store, paralyzed at dry cereal choices.

Cities of the future such as in Blade Runner and Mystery Men suggest media and image rich environments.  How rich do we want Chicago?