LUCI Annual General Meeting
Jyväsklä – Highlights

Experiencing the power of light

The LUCI Annual General Meeting 2023 in Jyväskylä offered not only the opportunity to get inspired by multiple perspectives on urban lighting, but also to experience the power of light to deeply transform our cities, bring us together and share a common vision.

The event was attended by:

>       Over 115 in-person participants

>       20 cities officially represented from 15 countries

>       Over 20 speakers and facilitators

Inspired by Jyväskylä’s “City of Light” strategy

From vision to actions: the network learned from Kari Ström, Service Manager, Elisa Hillgen, Lighting Coordinator and Mikko Maunula, Civil Engineer at City of Jyväskylä about the long-term vision behind  the “City of Light” masterplan which started almost 25 years ago, the permanent and temporary lighting projects as well as their latest innovative tools to assist maintenance and investment planning.

Alongside night visits when participants directly experienced urban lighting in Jyväskylä, a key takeaway was how the city is using light as a strategic tool to create more attractive and inclusive public spaces after dark. Lighting has made the city enjoyable for all its residents , with a high quality of life during dark winter months, all the while improving the feeling of safety and the energy efficiency with each project.

Temporary projects with a lasting impact: pushing the boundaries of light

The opening keynote from Kari Kola, a Finnish world renowned light artist who has worked as artistic leader in several large scale light installations and productions, showed how his temporary light art projects made a strong and long-lasting impact. Participants were reminded how light is a powerful medium to reveal the beauty and character of any site, even as remote as the Saana Mountain in the northern tip of Finland.

Hands-on experience with lighting

How best to experience urban lighting than with a hands-on approach? 40 participants had the opportunity to take part in the LUCI AGM Workshop to build temporary lighting at sites near the conference venue under the guidance of professional Finnish lighting designers.

The workshop offered fun and action, another way of exchanging with peers and learning by doing. From designing and sketching to testing equipment during four separate workshops, the sites underwent an amazing transformation through light thanks to the groups’ creativity and ingenuity. The City of Jyväskylä then involved its citizens to vote for their favourite project, see the winning project here!

LUCI Declaration 

This AGM marked an important milestone for the field of urban lighting with the launch of the LUCI “Declaration for the Future of Urban Lighting, a document that is the result of numerous discussions in the LUCI Network throughout 2022.

While the Declaration got officially adopted during the member’s General Assembly, a plenary session  offered the possibility to learn about its content and start making the set Goals of the Declaration actionable.

As the main expert involved in drafting the LUCI Declaration, Philip Ross took participants on a journey through the 7 Goals of the Declaration that aim to help cities navigate towards the future. City representatives from Budapest, Leipzig, Oulu, Eindhoven, Jyväskylä and Glasgow then came on stage to share their perspectives,  introduce and illustrate the 7 Goals. During a rich World Café moment, the Goals were reviewed and according actions defined to set out both short and long term strategies. The message was clear: It is time for action!

LUCI Cities & Lighting Awards Spotlight

On the second conference day, attention was directed towards the “Konak-Kemeralti Lighting Masterplan” in Izmir, Turkey. Şebnem Gemalmaz, ARUP, gave the backstory of the winning project of the 2022 C&L Awards, sharing how this turned from an initially functional project into a masterplan that incorporates citizen engagement and inclusivity, where play becomes the common language for children and lighting a social glue.

LUCI President Meri Lumela passed the 1st prize trophy to Şebnem who accepted it on behalf of the City of Izmir. Markus Joonas collected the 2nd prize trophy on behalf of the City of Tampere for the “Tammerkoski rapids” project. Seoul Metropolitan Government has been awarded the 3rd prize during the Awards ceremony at the 2022 LUCI AGM in Busan.

The next edition of the LUCI Cities & Lighting Awards will take place in 2024 – stay tuned for updates.

LUCI Talks – a moment for sharing visions and ambitions

During the LUCI talks session, three thought-leading speakers from different parts of the world shared their visions on how urban lighting can make a difference. While Inkyu Choi, Director-General of Design Policy Bureau at Seoul Metropolitan Government, focused on the “Design Seoul 2.0” project that sets the way towards achieving the vision of a SOFT+ACTIVE Seoul through empathetic, inclusive, contributive, resilient and sustainable design, Chiara Carucci, Lighting Designer & IALD Associate, advocated for a balance between environmental protection and economic development: the right light, at the right time. Martin Lupton and Sharon Stammers, from Light Collective, illustrated how “small projects with many people” can help create community and show the fundamental role of light.

Many social opportunities to connect over light

The AGM offered many opportunities to network with peers and discover more of the urban lighting in Jyväskylä. After a welcome cocktail in the beautiful City Hall, participants were introduced to the city’s main sights with permanent light installations in the city centre. The second evening wrapped up with a group walk on the frozen lake around the Kuokkala Bridge with the exceptional experience of having an aurora borealis in sight. This visit continued with a tour of the 4 workshop sites, admiring the results of the work done the same afternoon.

The closing dinner, accompanied by light dancers, took place in the WinterLight exhibition area, an amazing display of creativity from international artists in a new and appealing “indoor light festival” format to celebrate light art.

Immersion into Finnish nature, culture… and darkness!

The traditional LUCI AGM  optional programme offered the participants to further experience Finnish nature and culture. While one group enjoyed outdoor activities such as ice-fishing, sauna followed by dipping in a frozen lake, the second group was guided through the Museum of Central Finland as well as the Säynätsalo town hall, designed by the prominent architect Alvar Aalto.

The finale of the AGM took the form of a walk in a forest where in darkness participants enjoyed snacks and coffee around a frozen lake, lanterns and a bonfire.

Photo credits
© Jiri Halttunen; © Rami Saarikorpi; © LUCI Association