Ville-de-Pau in France and Gothenburg in Sweden runners-up in eighth annual contest celebrating the application of light in creating more livable cities
Chartres, France – The city of Lucerne in Switzerland has been awarded first prize in the 2010 international city.people.light awards, the annual contest organized by Philips and the Lighting Urban Community International Association (LUCI) to reward the use of lighting in the creation of livable cities that benefit the well-being of those who live, work or visit them.
At the 2010 city.people.light awards ceremony today in Chartres, Philips and LUCI presented Lucerne with its first prize - a cheque for Eur 10,000 in recognition of the city’s winning submission, a comprehensive lighting ‘masterplan’ aimed at highlighting the strengths of Lucerne’s five districts while minimizing the impact of light on residents.
Lucern Mahlen Square. © Ammon, AURA Fotoagentur
“Lucerne has produced a perfect example of simply enhancing life with light,” comments Marc de Jong, General Manager of the Professional Luminaires business group within Philips. “In creating a coherent lighting strategy the city has brilliantly integrated its lighting design into the complete fabric of urban life.”
In their deliberation, the independent city.people.light awards jury – made up of three lighting designers and three representatives from municipalities – praised Lucerne’s “sophisticated and beautifully understated” application of natural lighting to transform the urban experience. The jury praised how the plan brought out the city’s unique character while at the same time minimizing excessive light ‘spill’ or order to give residents a peaceful night’s sleep.
Cathy Johnston, president of the jury and a senior urban planner within the City of Glasgow in the UK, praised Lucerne’s entry by saying: “The holistic and comprehensive nature of this lighting plan demonstrates the commitment of the city to integrating lighting into the city.” Leading lighting designer Kevin Theobald added that Lucerne’s entry was “…a well executed masterplan, involving a diverse team and public consultation, resulting in a pleasant aesthetic experience.”, while German designer Ulrike Brandi added: “The approach to install a [lighting] masterplan for the city helps to create an atmosphere for the whole city. The vision of ‘less is more’ respects darkness and the day-night-rhythm of the residents.”
Runners up from France and Sweden
The French city of Ville-de-Pau and Gothenburg in Sweden were named as runners-up in the competition, which attracted a total of 27 entries from municipalities around the world, including cities in China, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa and the United States.
Pau, in south-western France, received second prize for the impressive illumination of its iconic 14th Century castle. Overlooking the city, the castle provides a distinct point of local identity, creating an enormous sense of pride for Pau’s residents, as well as draw for tourists in the region. In replacing the existing 30-year-old lighting installation, the project team focused on balancing heritage and sustainability, ensuring the new installation maximized the latest energy-efficient lighting solutions.
Chateau Pau nocturne show. © Xavier Boymond
“The culture of the city and the region has been given new interpretation through this lighting project where the involvement of the city municipality and the cultural minister has brought about a new landmark,” commented city.people.light awards jury president Cathy Johnston. “The mixture of spectacular storytelling illumination and high quality permanent lighting is unusual in a project. It has required skill to create the balance and produce high quality design.”
The Swedish city of Gothenburg had a different mission with its third prize-winning submission to the 2010 city.people.light awards – applying lighting in the transformation of the city’s former shipyard into a residential area. The project set out specifically to link the past with the present, lighting up the Västra Eriksberg yard’s giant crane to provide a visual reference to Gothenburg’s industrial history, while providing new residents to the area with an inspirational urban sculpture to welcome them home at night.
Commenting on the project, Cathy Johnston said: “The use of light has brought out unexpected qualities in the former dockland. The crane has become transformed into a sculpture creating a new landmark.” Lighting designer Lucette de Rugy added that it was: “an original idea to create new places of interest for the population in using a place where they were gathered and transforming it into an attraction for everyone.”
About the international city.people.light awards
The city.people.light awards set out to recognize the efforts cities and towns make to ‘rehumanize’ their environments, applying the medium of light for the well-being of those who live, work, visit or do business in a city or town. Awards are given to cities which best integrate an appreciation of contemporary urban living needs with the notions of ‘city’, ‘people’ and ‘light’ in a consistent lighting strategy.
The awards are presided over by an international and independent six-person jury comprised of leading lighting architects, lighting designers and municipal lighting managers. The jury deliberates on a number of criteria, including how a lighting project adds to the cultural, architectural heritage and commercial life of a city, its night-time identity and its environmental contribution.
Since its 2002 launch, the awards have run the rule over 168 urban lighting projects, including the 2010 entries.
The awards were created by Philips and run in conjunction with LUCI (the Lighting Urban Community International Association). LUCI is a unique international network bringing together 95 cities and lighting professionals engaged in using light as a major tool for urban development, with a concern for sustainability and environmental issues. By rewarding and putting forward cities which share this vision of urban lighting the city.people.light award participates in making cities within LUCI - and beyond – progress towards a better use of light.