The problem is not city planning, it is a failure to have a plan in place before the signs went up.
Dresden, Germany, obviously has zoning laws that limit outdoor advertising, and much of it is on the building themselves, rather than free-standing signs. For instance, one can see the Elbe-Park outdoor mall from the Autobahn, and can identify the home store there because they can see the signs on the building. The Burger King that is a major tenant of the Bahnhof (train station) has only a small sign outside, again on the building itself.
Hsinchu, Taiwan, on the other hand, gives almost no evidence of any zoning laws at all. Ads are everywhere, blocking sidewalks, distracting from traffic lights. Clearly, however, the KFC's signs are not haphazard, and would not likely be targeted in some general crackdown on outdoor advertising.
The U.S. represents a middle ground. Roadside advertisements for businesses miles way exist, as do high signs for businesses right off the highway. But these are regulated by zoning laws that try to balance the need of businesses to attract customers with the view of nearby residents.
China should not arbitrarily take down signs that were previously approved without making concessions that allow these businesses to advertise.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
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