2022 LUCI Asia Urban Lighting Workshop – The Future of Urban Lighting after COVID-19

The 2022 LUCI Asia Urban Lighting Workshop, held jointly by Seoul Metropolitan Government and LUCI, provided a platform for over 200 participants including LUCI members and the wider urban lighting community to share experiences and best practices.

  • 263 online participants / 102 lighting professionals
  • Attendees from 34 countries
  • Over 23 speakers

The event focused on the theme “The Future of Urban Lighting after COVID-19” with keywords “Well-being, Restoration, Innovation”, sparking a vibrant discussion from an international audience despite the physical distance. 

You can watch or rewatch the recordings of the presentations here. LUCI members can soon access the presentation PowerPoints in the LUCI Hub.

Glimpse into the urban lighting history and governance of Seoul, South Korea

In the first half of the first day of the workshop, the central topic was lighting in the event’s host city and country.

The opening discussion between Dae-kwon Kim, Director of the Lighting Policy Division at SMG and Mee Jeong, President of Eon SLD revolved around the urban lighting decisions of SMG and these policies’ effects in the past 10 years. The history of Seoul’s lighting regulations, the role of Good Light Committee and Seoul’s vision to balance between minimizing light pollution and fostering creative lighting were illustrated further from the views of Sangil Lee, a decision maker and lighting professional.

The revealed outcome of these presentations was the importance of good governance for a good urban lighting – the power of which is also to transform space for example through media façades, as shown in the presentation on “Seoul’s Light” by Kyung Don Rhee, Ahran Lim and Gyu sang Lee.

LUCI Coffee Bre@k went to LAULW

For the first time since the Coffee Bre@k’s creation, the LUCI event that brings the network together for a convivial moment had the moderator and speaker sharing the stage in-person! During the LAULW Talk Show, Mark Burton-Page and Youngho Baik, Chief Consultant at Ecolant, conversed from the comfort of sofas in the same room about the factors for implementing a smart lighting infrastructure on a city and present-day challenges brought by the energy crisis on urban and personal/private lighting. The recording is available for rewatching on the LUCI Hub or here.

For well-being and restoration: towards more creative and respectful use of light

In relation to the workshop’s keywords, two professionals presented ideas on how urban lighting should adapt to the post-pandemic world for better public and personal health.

Sudeshna Mukhopadhyay, Consultant and Vice President, Havells India Limited, considered the notion of “urban darkness” as a possible solution to the post-Covid issues such as light pollution in India. She furthermore showed the side effect of excessive artificial lights on human health and environment. Her proposals on how to help combat the negative results included the respectful use of new concepts such as robotics, drones and bioluminescence.

Marco Bevolo, academic and Founder of Marco Bevolo Consulting, suggested to reinvent public places as “platforms” for fostering citizens’ creativity and activity after COVID-19 with subtle but innovative lighting solutions. He concluded that the direction of the future of urban lighting lies not in aesthetic design, but life-centered design approach that considers the health of the planet and all its inhabitants. This environmental perspective is also discussed in the LUCI 2021 publication A Cities’ Guide to Smart Lighting, available for download here.

Enlightening perspectives from cities worldwide

Representatives from Incheon (South Korea), Yala (Thailand), Madiun (Indonesia), Chattogram (Bangladesh) and Muscat (Oman) took the stage to present case studies of smart lighting projects and future lighting plans in their cities. While Incheon and Yala showed how light, colour and design can help illuminate the history, present and future of their cities, Madium Regency, Chattogram and Muscat focused on aspects such as energy monitoring and conservation and smart street lighting. The presentations reminded the audience of the diverse uses of light as functional, aesthetic, social, cultural, and more.

In contrast to the case studies that were more focused on the Asia region, the introductory presentations that followed shared the goals and outcomes of the work of mainly European partners. First, Giulia Marzani, Ph. D. Candidate at University of Bologna, introduced ENLIGHTENme, an EU project that studies the effect of artificial light on human health and which through collaboration between 22 partners (including LUCI) in 3 European cities aims to develop evidence-based policies to improve citizens’ quality of life through indoor and outdoor lighting.

Then, Stefania Pizzato, Project Manager at City of London Corporation, showed current efforts and future plans of City of London as the chair of HULAB (Health and Urban Lighting Advisory Board), a working group led by LUCI which works inside the ENLIGHTENme project. The goal is to incorporate the city perspective on the question of health and wellbeing.

LUCI Special Corner: Next steps for collaboration and involvement!

To close the event, LUCI General Director Mark Burton-Page and LUCI Regional Office in Asia’s Coordinator Kabcheol Kim proposed greater participation and cooperation between LUCI and Asian cities following the workshop.

Furthermore, in the LUCI Special Corner, Mark Burton-Page opened registrations for LUCI’s next major event: the Annual General Meeting in Busan, South Korea! Reserve your spot at the event that continues to celebrate the urban lighting network’s 20-year anniversary here.

LUCI AGM Busan 2022

The event will include the very first LUCI Cities & Lighting Awards ceremony – applications are open until the 9th of September. Information including guidelines are available here.

Watch or rewatch the event’s presentations here.