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Understanding new opportunities brought by smart lighting

 

Earlier this year, we announced the launch of a pioneering research project on smart lighting. The Pathways to Municipal Smart Lighting project will be the first global, comparative study of city pathways to smart lighting aiming to improve cities’ understanding of planning and implementation of smart lighting.

 

The comparative study started this month, with a survey of municipalities in the LUCI network and beyond on their smart lighting practices, feedback and perspectives. It will result in a preliminary mapping and database of municipal smart lighting policy, practice and planning. Click here if you are a city and would like to participate.

 

Dr. Don Slater, the Co-founder of Configuring Light and Associate Professor (Reader) in Sociology at LSE, and Dr. Elettra Bordonaro, Visiting Fellow in Sociology at LSE, will be leading the “Pathways to Municipal Smart Lighting” project.

In December 2017, Don told Cities & Lighting about his interest in smart lighting and the objectives of the research project:

 

Why are you interested in smart lighting in cities?

Don Slater: Configuring Light, at LSE, focuses on how cities, planners and designers can better understand the social life of their municipalities so that lighting can support the quality of life of their citizens and visitors.

‘Smart’ is now central to this: lighting now has the capacity to generate and to respond to massive amounts of social data. We need to understand how cities are dealing with these new opportunities.

We need to understand how cities are dealing with these new opportunities.

What are the main objectives of the Pathways to Municipal Smart Lighting project?

This project aims to map smart lighting plans and implementations in a number of case study cities. ‘Smart’ really means very different things, and implies very different actions, to different municipalities. It is crucial to understand the range of strategies cities are pursuing and how they can learn both problems and best practices from each other. We are also concerned to represent a reasonable range of cities, in terms of region, size and technological stages.

How will the results of this research help cities?

Participating case study cities will get the benefit of a specific social analysis of their smart lighting situation. Cities in general will see a typology of different pathways to smart lighting, and the ability to contextualise their own thinking and implementations in relation to issues and strategies identified across different regions, urban scales and technological stages.

Participating case study cities will get the benefit of a specific social analysis of their smart lighting situation.

What does LSE hope to accomplish through this research project with LUCI?

LSE sees this research project as the beginning of a long-term relationship with LUCI – we have major overlapping interests in bringing together social research, governance, technology and design to move lighting up the social agenda as a central aspect of urban life and well-being.

 

Cities and municipal lighting professionals worldwide are invited to participate in the project by responding to this survey by the LSE Configuring Light research group. Click here to respond to the survey.

 

 

This interview originally appeared in  (Issue #6, December 2017).