The contest honours urban lighting projects that transform cities, increase safety and boost economic development
The Danish city of Aalborg’s innovative House of Music Area urban regeneration project by ÅF lighting was awarded the first prize in the 14th annual City.People.Light award. It is part of a larger renovation project that was geared towards transforming the Aalborg waterfront from an industrialised zone into a vibrant university city and buzzing cultural hub.
The international City.People.Light award was created by Philips Lighting and LUCI, the international network of cities on urban lighting, in 2003. Since it launched, it has honoured multiple cities for their sustainable urban development projects that utilise light to enhance the environment and lives of local citizens.
ÅF lighting’s design embraced the local heritage of the site and used stakeholder analysis to ensure the space was not only attractive, but also inviting to local residents, students, and visitors to the city.
“In the new space, lighting intertwines with the natural backdrop of the waterfront creating a unique landscape throughout the day and even at night,” said C F Møller, the project’s landscape architect. “The space is adaptive and dynamic ensuring the perfect environment is created no matter the event, exhibition or season. This is achieved through tailored lighting solutions.”
The second prize went to Gyeongui Line Forest Walkway lighting design project in Seoul, Korea. Since the railway switched to being underground in 2005, the area had been neglected leading to high crime rates and pollution levels.
The Gyeongui Line Forest Walkway project revitalised this area by utilising light to create a natural and comfortable space for local residents. It was designed by Urban Lighting-Design Partnership and Lee Yeon-So to minimise light pollution at night for local residents while creating a safe walkway for passers-by throughout the day. The space has now been reborn as a popular city location with local resident satisfaction exceeding 80 per cent.
In third place was the Emmen City Centre Renovation project in Emmen in the Netherlands by Titia Ex and Studio DL. It began in 2003 to boost economic development, generate employment and strengthen the international position of Emmen. Since the project began, lighting has been embedded in attractions across the city emphasising major landmarks such as the market square and the town hall. As part of the project, the Hondsrugweg, one of the busiest traffic routes in Emmen, was redeveloped with art installations interweaved with functional lighting to create a unique roadway for local commuters.
Kim Moonsung, country leader at Philips Lighting in Korea, said the contest received more than 30 entries and it has seen increasing interest from designers and cities in urban beautification and the importance given to urban lighting as part of their innovative city concepts. “Lighting is a crucial part of city planning and their appeal,” he said.
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