Spanish city takes top spot in ninth annual cpl awards for the use of light to enhance urban well-being
The City of Valladolid in Spain has been awarded the first prize in the 2011 city.people.light awards, the annual competition organized by Philips and LUCI to reward projects which demonstrate the contribution lighting can make to the well-being of those who live, work or visit a city or town.
At a ceremony on the 17th of November during the LUCI AGM in Gothenburg, Sweden, Mr. Javier León de la Riva, Mayor of the City of Valladolid, was presented with the city.people.light award in recognition of the city’s ‘Rivers of Light’ project.
The Dutch city of Rotterdam and Kanazawa in Japan won second and third place respectively, with a special mention for the City of Le Havre (France) in the competition, which attracted a total of 24 entries from municipalities around the world.
The winning Valladolid project
The ‘Rivers of Light’ project connects different areas of the centre of Valladolid, creating a new night vision of the city, which has had a big impact on citizens. Valladolid’s most important historic monuments and squares have been brought to life with light: some dressed in a new, more comfortable and elegant light, whilst others have suddenly emerged from the darkness.
“Valladolid shows that lighting has become more than simply a means of ensuring security and visibility: it is now regarded as an essential component of a city’s cultural identity,” comments Marc de Jong, CEO of the Professional Luminaires business within Philips Lighting. “All of this year’s 24 entrants have recognized this and embraced the concept in their projects. Philips congratulates all of them – and especially the prize winners – for demonstrating the contribution lighting can make to create livable cities.”
“Valladolid’s entry provided users of the city with symbolism and visual comfort – taking into account energy and economic factors,” says city.people.light awards jury president Anna Shakhparunyants. “The initiative is set out to give both visitors and citizens of Valladolid a wonderful aesthetic touch to their enjoyment of the bustling city centre, where people go to meet their friends, share ‘tapas’, relax in a café terrace, or simply stroll along its streets.”
Runners up from Netherlands and Japan
Rotterdam in the Netherlands, received the second prize for Broken Light by Rudolf Teunissen, a project that was selected after a survey of wishes was conducted in the district which included: developers, housing corporations, the local district council, planning engineers and local residents. The project transformed Atjehstraat, a street that until a few years ago was rife with crime, and now has been rejuvenated through light. The project strengthens the bond between the residents of Atjehstraat and the surrounding streets. Atjehstraat has become through this project part of the social and cultural development of the neighborhood and contributes to the area’s economic development through the increased attractiveness of the street.
“This lighting project gives visual comfort and brightness to the street, leading to a new sense of pride for the residents. This once forgotten street now attracts people from all over the city to experience the multicultural celebration of light,” comments Mrs. Shakhparunyants.
The Japanese city of Kanazawa had a different mission with its third prize-winning submission to the 2011 city.people.light awards – creating a lighting sequence that represented the history and culture of Kanazawa. The city has been developed as a castle town for 400 years and is known to have a strong historical aspect to its character. The lighting project will expand the visible hours for tourism and enhance the landscaping of tourist areas, which is likely to improve tourism, the economy and the vitality of the city.
“The lighting project in Kanazawa represents the image and identity of the city by creating a harmony between the nocturnal lighting scheme of the city of Kanazawa and Kanazawa Castle Park, enabling residents and visitors to share the historical and cultural experience of the city,” says Mrs. Shakhparunyants.
The French city of Le Havre received a special mention for its lighting project enhancing its breakwater. The large breakwater protects the port and the city from the changing moods of the sea. It is also a popular tourist attraction. The objective of the lighting project was to generate a completely different perspective of the breakwater during calm periods and during stormy weather.
The 24 cities which submitted entries for this year’s competition were judged by a six person jury – made up of lighting architects, lighting designers and municipal lighting managers – deliberating over a number of criteria, including how a lighting project adds to the cultural and architectural heritage of a city, its night-time identity and environmental contribution.