The cities of Budapest, Hungary; Geneva, Switzerland; Tilburg, the Netherlands; and Ghent, Belgium are the recipients of the 2010 Auroralia Awards, which honor sustainable, urban lighting solutions. Organized by lighting company Schréder and LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International), the two-year old program received 16 entries from cities and towns around the world. The jury, composed of international journalists specializing in lighting, urban design, and sustainable topics along with representatives from Schréder and LUCI, reviewed the submissions during a meeting at Schréder's offices in Liège, Belgium in Nov. 2010. (Architectural Lighting editor Elizabeth Donoff was a member of the jury.) The awards were presented Dec. 8, 2010, in a ceremony during the annual Festival of Lights in Lyon, France.
The jury selected projects that met a strict set of criteria that included reduced energy consumption and use of natural resources; integration of the project into wider-ranging master plans; relevance of the project in human and economic terms; the originality of the concept; and the quality of the lighting application.
First prize went to Budapest, Hungary, for it's lighting of the Liberty Bridge. Although a city landmark, the bridge had never been illuminated. The new lighting design uses LED sources and discharge lamps in discretely located luminaries that outline the bridge form without piercing the actual bridge structure. Completed in just four months, the lighting strategy achieves an energy savings of 67 percent. City officials hope this project will serve as the impetus for furthering the city's development of a lighting master plan for the riverfront promenades.
Geneva received second prize for its two submissions: the refitting of the city's signature string lights along the lake, switching from incandescent lamps to LEDs, and the replacement of 4,500 streetlights throughout the city. Both projects tie into Geneva's objective to reduce electricity consumption while improving the quality of public lighting as captured in the city's motto "Better light for less consumption."
Tilburg, the Netherlands was awarded third prize for its project Cityring, which reconnects routes from the city center out to the city peripheral. The new streetlights provide an energy savings of 54 percent, and have an integrated system of fittings to incorporate different signage elements. Combined with paving, plantings, and street furniture, the new fixtures create a more unified approach to the street setting.
A special citation was awarded to Ghent, Belgium for its innovative program of offering shopkeepers a lighting audit to assess the lighting design for their storefront display windows as a means to achieving energy savings. Twenty-three shops have participated to date, achieving a 25 percent energy savings, and creating a more unified lighting appearance to store façades along the main shopping streets in the city center.
The entry deadline for the 2011 Auroralia Awards is May 31, 2011. For complete details about the Auroralia Awards program go to: http://www.auroralia.org.