Poll: Do You Like the Idea of Urban Experiential Displays in Center City?

The Planning Commission does not.

Screenshot of Outdoor Catalyst's Philadelphia UEDs  video.

Screenshot of Outdoor Catalyst’s Philadelphia UEDs video.

Let’s talk about Urban Experiential Displays for a minute.

They’re essentially what amounts to an intricate, three-dimensional billboard and could be coming to Center City in the near future. You may have heard them called UED’s or seen the image of the giant arm (with wristwatch!) jutting through the sidewalk outside of Reading Terminal Market while holding a globe. Councilman Mark Squilla introduced a bill in November to allow for the installation upon specially zoned areas in Center City, the first group includes two city sidewalks (RTM and the North Broad Street at the Convention Center) and above the parking garage at the Bellevue on South Broad Street.

According to a report from Jared Brey at PlanPhilly, the Planning Commission voted to opposed the bill earlier this week, and also sought to add revisions to it that tighten how they look, where they can be placed and how they interact with the public. For what it’s worth, the vote is advisory only and City Council can simply ignore it.

Digital billboards are all the rage over on Market East, as two projects–East Market and the Lits Bros.– both traded public improvements in the form of concourse renovations and a gussied-up streetscape for the permission to install their signage. East Market is currently under construction and the signage at Lit is well, um, lit on the 7th Street side of the building. So what about UED’s?


  • $5.2 million in revenue from each of the signs diverted to local non-profits and possible public authorities
  • Ad space for municipal announcements such as police and weather alerts
  • Potential “landmark” placemaking opportunities


  • Trade public space (city sidewalks) for ad space
  • Signs wouldn’t have to comply with local outdoor advertising regulations (size, height, brightness, etc.)
  • Designs out of place with surrounding area

So, we leave it to you. Are you cool with UED’s coming to Center City? Take the poll!