A set of innovative proposals to deliver more energy efficient use of lighting for buildings across the Square Mile are being drawn up by the City of London Corporation.
The local authority claims its lighting strategy, which was launched for consultation on Friday, is the first of its kind in London. It includes plans for remotely operated lighting to both improve the look of historic buildings at night, as well as reduce energy consumption and curb light pollution.
Using “state-of-the-art” technology, the Corporation wants to see urban spaces coated in various lighting types, levels and colours at different times during the night, complementing work already underway to upgrade the city’s street lighting to energy-saving LEDs.
It said the strategy would assess the balance between darkness and street and commercial lighting, with surveys suggesting some streets “may be excessively lit compared to how many people actually use them, or that the current street lighting adds little because of the impact that nearby commercial lighting may already have”.
The strategy will also consider the role lighting has on crime prevention, reinforcing road safety, and light pollution, the latter of which studies have shown can disrupt ecosystems and reduce biodiversity as well as impacting on human sleeping patterns, it added.
The Corporation is working with lighting designer Speirs and Major on the strategy, which it plans to implement in phases throughout the city.
Chris Hayward, chairman of the Corporation’s planning and transportation committee, said the strategy would improve the quality of life for workers, residents and visitors in the square mile.
“We want our streets to be safer, more sustainable and more inviting,” he said. “Poor street lighting is a constant issue for London and it is time to change that. It is vital that the City of London continues to invest in smart technology and infrastructure to maintain its position as a leading financial and business centre, as well as a leading cultural destination.
“Light will be used to celebrate and safeguard our streets while enhancing the experience for the Square Mile’s growing night time economy.”