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Open Access Publications from the University of California

JCDecaux as an Indicator of Globalization

  • Author(s): Gaffney, Andrea
  • et al.

Jean Claude Decaux’s claim to inventing street furniture is not his to make. What did happen in 1964 is that he lobbied the French government to allow his company to install bus shelters across France. He provides bus shelters as a “public service amenity” in return for control of their integrated advertising panels. As such, the JCDecaux brand has transcended into an indicator of globalization in both the “space of place” and the “space of flows.” The company’s ubiquity both mimics and drives the growing reach of a globalized cultural economy, in which corporate advertising imagery becomes the backdrop of urban life. Decaux’s true contribution—a model of public-private partnership which calculates the demand of corporate advertising into accounting for transit service – is now part of decision-making processes which determine the level of service in neighborhoods around the globe.

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