Stephen Glassman is an artist with an unique vision: he wants to use billboards as media for creating his art. His idea is to use Los Angeles billboards as a place to plant bamboo gardens throughout the city. His inspiration? The structural strength of the billboards, many of which survived the devastating Northridge earthquake in 1994.
Billboards are omnipresent in Los Angeles, running rampant on traffic-heavy areas. Glassman hopes that his project, “Urban Air,” will successfully create a greener LA as well as inspire green living.
“There is an advertising infrastructure that goes through this city that is strong and robust and at this moment only dedicated toward selling you things, and it could be much more,” he said of Urban Air. “It could be both a symbol and an instrument for generating a green future.”
Urban Air is currently a Kickstarter project and needs to raise $100,000 to launch its first billboard. It has raised just over $37,000 and has fifteen more days to raise the remaining $63,000. Summit Media has volunteered one billboard for Urban Air to use for the project, and will potentially offer more in the future if the project is successful.
One Kickstarter backer, Giovanni Solis, talked about Urban Air’s potential for success. “He’s using what we have to make the city a little better. It’s an interesting take on transforming dead spaces to make them more sustainable and eco-conscious.” Indeed, using dead space in LA is hugely important, as the city hardly has open fields available for bamboo gardens.
“Urban Air has been designed, engineered, and has secured the billboard to carry the flagship project,” the Kickstarter page reads. “With your help, Urban Air will be towering above the Los Angeles freeways in the New Year.” Glassman hopes to have the first billboard up by February 2013.
“The vision doesn’t stop there. Upon a successful launch, it’s our plan and intention to transform the steel and wood of outdoor advertising into the infrastructure of urban sustainability in cities around the globe—actively, publicly, and collectively generating a green global future.”