city lighting and
new urban spaces

Putting light on the Urban agenda

Lighting has largely been seen as an “add-on” after the projects have been designed. In 2008, when the topic was brought to the fore, the feedback was very low from both the private and public sectors in Norway. At the same time, city lighting through Philips Lighting was highlighted as something more than just street lightin internationally.

City Lighting and New Urban Spaces set the premises for which agenda the third NUDA conference would deal with.

When the program was developed, several international urban development projects had begun to focus more on light as part of urban development, not just as a technical necessity to ensure illuminated streets and public spaces. Philips Lighting was at the beginning of the 2000s an international frontrunner with new lighting technology, and tested this extensively through partnerships and self initiated pilot projects. Their own light center in Lyon was exceptional for piloting that showed the importance of light as a planning tool in urban development.

There was a long distance from international lighting projects to Norwegian urban development projects where lighting was a central part of the planning process. We noticed this well in the discussions that followed, and during, the conference.

The conference had invited some of the world’s leaders in light and light in urban development. Particularly interesting was the lecture by Edit Ugrai which showed what they had done in Alingsås, something that was far from what Norwegian municipalities had thought of then. Ulrike Brandi from Hamburg-based Ulrike Brandi Licht showed urban development projects where light was central to the development process itself, well followed by Mikka Seppala from Tampere municipality in Finland who presented some magnificent industrial projects where light was used for both safety and branding.

One of the most important and central areas discussed was safety in the city through lighting, and mobility associated with among universal design with light. Light is a very visual language, and has proven important to use both in relation to energy solutions, economic savings and rational urban development where financing often puts a stop to large development projects.

City Lighting and New Urban Spaces was an initiative from NUDA in collaboration with Bergen Municipality, Philips, Bergen Næringsråd and Arkitektforeningen i Bergen.

Mirjam Struppek from Public Art Lab, Netherlands
Svante Pettersson from Philips Lighting, Nordic
Ulrike Brandi from Ulrike Brandi Licht, Germany
Edit Ugrai from Alingsås Municipality, Sweden