New research project to improve London’s lighting at night

Peter's Hill, London before (left) and after (right) Lighting London assessed its lighting strategy. Here, the scale of lighting and overall number of fittings was reduced, instead introducing more lighting at ground level in handrails, as well as warmer, lower lighting levels to create a calmer, more welcoming space. (Pics: © City of London Corporation)

(UK) – Lighting London aims to improve lit environment for London at night.

A new Centre for London research project is exploring how London could better use lighting to create a more attractive and sustainable cityscape after dark.

The project, entitled Lighting London, will explore how councils, developers and landlords can make the city’s streets and public spaces more inviting and interesting at night, while reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

The Centre for London research team see the project, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, as a chance to review how London is lit and to enhance its attractiveness, making it a more enjoyable place to be as more time will be spent outdoors.

The research will build on the Illuminated River project, the City of London’s lighting strategy, and the recommendations from City Hall’s Night-Time Commission. Its aims are to explore how light and darkness affect the lives of different groups of Londoners, how to use lighting more sustainably, and what it would take for London to become the best lit major city in the world.

The final report will be published in the winter, and will make recommendations to help City Hall, London’s boroughs, developers and building owners to develop a stronger and more coordinated city-wide approach to lighting, and better light their buildings and spaces.

Ben Rogers, Founding Director for Centre for London, said: “Relatively little thought goes into the way London looks and feels at night. Yet lighting has a huge impact on us, our evening and night time activities, on people who work at night, and even inside our homes from streetlights.

“With Londoners set to spend more time outside than ever as we head into autumn, now is an exciting opportunity to help policymakers develop a stronger and coordinated city-wide approach to lighting.”

Carolyn Dwyer, Director of the Built Environment at the City of London Corporation, added: “The City of London Corporation is taking a number of steps to realise our vision of a 24/7 destination and we are delighted to be a part of this revolutionary Lighting London research.

“By exploring how all parties can work together to light our streets in a more sustainable way, we can further improve upon the safe, welcoming and accessible spaces that the Square Mile offers, while celebrating our rich heritage, culture and architecture around the clock.

“This opportunity aligns with our vision developed in the City Lighting Strategy to take advantage of emerging technology to enhance what it feels like to live, work and visit the City at night.”