Public spaces, including parks, are essential to modern life, especially in urban areas. For these open spaces to be welcoming, and to feel safe for people using them, they must be sufficiently well-lit.
Lighting is critical for parks and open spaces because it can transform these spaces, going far beyond illumination to creating unique experiences for people.
Why Public Open Spaces Matter
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation emphasises how public spaces play a vital role in the social and economic life of communities. They are a social resource.
They can assist in regenerating areas and in creating sustainable and more socially cohesive communities.
Such public spaces include: parks, playgrounds, neighbourhood spaces, community centres and high streets.
One description of these spaces is self-organising, because they create their own value as a shared resource for a diverse range of people using them.
They provide multiple benefits, including offering areas where people can meet others, and create a powerful sense of belonging. Alternatively, they can also offer peaceful spaces where people can get away from the busy pressures of daily life.
Public open spaces help to create and bolster a sense of attachment to a specific local area.
Over time, notions of what a public space is have changed, as have the groups that use and occupy them. However, while the use of public opens spaces may change according to the time of day, they retain their value as a focus for social activity.
The Role of Lighting in Public Spaces
The success of a public open space is not just down to its location or its design. In other words, while architects and town planners must first conceive of these spaces, what will matter most in the end is whether people will use them.
This is where lighting plays such crucial role.
Effective lighting of parks and public open spaces combines engineering solutions with urban strategies: the two should go together, if there is to be a successful transformation of public open spaces.
On the one hand, a purely technical engineering solution can deliver results that comply with regulations; on the other, combined with a strategy, there is a valuable added element of design sensitivity, which focuses on the end user.
The benefits are social and economic – modern LED lighting solutions can help parks and public open spaces provide excellent economic value, delivering up to 70% in cost savings.
Also, the use of lighting management systems together with LED technology, can work to reduce ongoing maintenance and operating costs.
Lighting Possibilities for Open Spaces
LED lighting can make spaces more inviting and help create visual experiences.
White LED lighting, for example, can provide a range of outdoor lighting solutions, from accent lighting of specific features, to high intensity washes of intense white light.
The point is that lighting is a strategic, adaptable solution for public open spaces.
Another aspect of this kind of lighting is safety.
Open spaces thrive providing people feel safe using them. Lighting can help reduce crime and, crucially, the fear of crime.
People can feel unable to use parks and public spaces because of the fear of crime.
Along with physical changes to these spaces to make them safer, lighting can do a lot to alleviate the fear of crime, and therefore encourage greater use of them, making them truly open for all.
Transform the Space Around You
Altitude Services specialises in outdoor lighting solutions, including recreational and amenity lighting and public realm lighting. We provide a complete end to end service, from design through to completion and maintenance.
For more information, please call us on 01282 450525, or complete our online enquiry form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
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