Street Lighting= Humans + Space + Light
A suggestion for urban lighting design method to enhance the urban nocturnal experience.
This Methodology begins with the desire to design street lighting in a comprehensive approach, claiming that we should understand the complexity of things and look at them as one, as a whole.
Traditionally, street lighting has been the basic component of public outdoor lighting. In urban setting, it is the street lighting, along with traffic signals and signs that organize and define the visual environment at night.
As we advance in the 21st century, our visual environment at night time is increasingly shaped by the predominance of information and communication technologies. The concomitant over stimulation, particularly on a visual level, by street lighting, by images, advertising messages and news information all at the same time also affects potential ways of perceiving space. These are increasingly predetermined by a clearly goal-oriented flood of messages and statements, depriving the viewer of the ability to form independent opinions. Our urban experience, even our memories, is rooted above all in images. Today, the street lighting condition of our cities is far less than optimal.
Street lighting was designed mainly for roads with no respect to the urban environment. It has been adapted to the needs of safety and security without any relation to the urban experience, the architecture or pedestrians. There is a sense of unnecessary repetitive “copy-paste” in constant distance without any reference. This situation where we light up the streets in a monotonous manner neutralizes the experience of the night that the city should produce. Without any hierarchical ranking the city looks dull. The way we think about urban planning, architecture and user experience of the street during the daytime disappears altogether at night-time and is transformed for the needs of drivers.