Smart City Lighting Strategy launched for the Square Mile

The City of London Corporation has announced it will bring innovative lighting proposals to the Square Mile, including remotely operated lighting that will complement the look of historic buildings, improve energy usage and help tackle light pollution.

The first of its kind in London, the strategy will use state of the art technology and see urban spaces coated in various lighting types, levels and colours at different times during the night. This will complement the work that is already underway to upgrade the City’s street lighting to high quality, energy-saving and cost-efficient LED.

The strategy will assess the balance between darkness and street and commercial lighting. Surveys show that currently 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 important role that lighting has on crime prevention and reinforcing road safety.

Studies have found that artificial lighting at night is contributing to an alarming increase in the amount and brightness of light pollution across the world. This leads to less starlight in the night sky, disrupted ecosystems, a reduction in biodiverse populations and can impact on human health and sleep rhythms. The strategy also seeks to address the needs of nocturnal animals in gardens and areas along the riverside.

The City Corporation is working with lighting designer Speirs and Major on the strategy which will be implemented in phases throughout the City.

Chris Hayward, Chairman of the City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee said: “The City Lighting Strategy will improve the quality of life for the Square Mile’s workers, residents and visitors, and tackle the problems of light pollution.

“We want our streets to be safer, more sustainable and more inviting. 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.”

A series of drop-in consultation sessions are held at locations across the Square Mile where City Corporation officers will be available to provide information on the strategy and answer any questions. Evening sessions will be followed by walking tours which explore current challenges and opportunities of the City of London lighting. For more information please see the City of London Corporation’s website.