The city of Busan is embarking on an ambitious plan to transform Gunam-ro in Haeundae-gu, into a Korean equivalent of New York’s Times Square, complete with a large electronic display board.
The city is actively proposing to designate the area as a ‘free display zone for outdoor advertisements’. This zone encompasses approximately 490 meters around Gunam-ro and Haeundae Beach Event Plaza.
A ‘free display area’ would significantly ease restrictions on the shape, size, color, and installation of outdoor advertisements, including electronic display boards.
Designating Gunam-ro as such an area would allow for the installation of large electronic display boards similar to those found in Times Square, New York, or Osaka’s Dotonbori in Japan.
This designation would enable corporate advertising via electronic display boards and open up possibilities for media art, such as creating scenes of waves crashing in an aquarium.
Only the COEX area in Seoul’s Gangnam-gu has been designated as a ‘free display area’ and currently operates as such.
The process for designating a ‘free display area’ involves an application submitted by the mayor or provincial governor in accordance with the Outdoor Advertising Act, with final permission issued by the Minister of Public Administration and Security.
Busan underwent its initial screening by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security last month and is scheduled for a second screening in November.
Based on these evaluations, the Ministry plans to announce the final results in December.
The city previously applied for a ‘free display area’ in Seomyeon, Jin-gu, Busan, in 2016 but was not selected.
This year, a public offering process preceded Busan’s application for a second free display zone in June, with Haeundae-gu being the sole applicant among the city’s 16 districts and counties.
In areas outside of the metropolitan region, it’s reported that 3 to 4 metropolitan governments, including Daegu City, have submitted applications for the designation of ‘free display zones’.