This study has a dual purpose. Firstly, it is aimed at determining the need for the effective management of outdoor information transfer as an important resource in the aesthetic environment. Effective management is seen as an optimisation of the benefits of outdoor information transfer, as well as a minimisation of its negative impacts. Secondly, this study was aimed at providing user-friendly guidelines to achieve this. The South African Manual for Outdoor Advertising Control (SAMOAC) was developed in 1998 as a national guideline document to provide detailed conditions for the management and control of outdoor advertisements and signs. This manual recognises the differences in local needs and circumstances and suggests that controlling authorities should adapt the prescribed conditions in this regard. Up till now this document has not been implemented successfully by the relevant controlling authorities. Outdoor advertisements of all sizes are increasing at an alarming rate in South Africa to the detriment of the perceptual environment and tourism resources. One of the most obvious reasons for this is the lack of motivation amongst the controlling authorities together with the persistency of the outdoor advertising industry. This study provides the necessary motivation for involving controlling authorities, the outdoor advertising industry and the public in the meaningful and sustainable management of outdoor information transfer. It looks at the benefits and impact of outdoor information transfer in a holistic manner by taking the variety and interrelationship of such impacts and benefits into consideration. Most previous studies have only concentrated on a single aspect of outdoor information transfer namely the correlation between billboards and road accidents. A key finding of this study is that the effective management of outdoor information transfer is unnegotiable. A laissez faire approach by controlling authorities and self-control by the outdoor advertising industry will lead to visual chaos. A balanced and responsible approach should be followed in managing outdoor information transfer. Outdoor advertising should never be aimed at utilising and maximising every available advertising opportunity and implementing whatever is technologically achievable at the cost of the perceptual environment. The effective management of outdoor information transfer is in the interest of both the perceptual environment and the outdoor advertising industry. It has been found that sense of place and placeness play an important role with regard to the impacts and benefits of outdoor information transfer. The lack of sufficient environmental ethics in Western society has been identified as an underlying problem. A non-pragmatic environmental world-view has therefore been provided based on Christian axioms to serve as a basis for environmental management including perceptual resource management and the management of outdoor information transfer. In order to actualise the need for the effective management of outdoor information transfer general principles and user-friendly guidelines are provided that will be universally applicable. It will make the management of outdoor information transfer less subjective and will serve as a basis for legislative and control measures. These principles and guidelines are flexible enough to accommodate a variation in local conditions, lifestyles and aspirations. It can therefore serve as an instrument to adapt SAMOAC to suit local circumstances and needs. The recommendations provided in this study are aimed at creating an appreciation for the perceptual environment as well as the role and aesthetic contribution of outdoor advertisements and signs. It is also aimed at involving the public, controlling authorities and the outdoor advertising industry in the sustainable management of outdoor information transfer as an important part of the perceptual environment.
Thesis (PhD (Regional Planning))--University of Pretoria, 2006.