The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges both for people and society. Many cities and towns across the world have been implementing strategies to address these challenges and are now looking at permanent solutions to transform the urban environment into places for people. As the northern hemisphere moves towards winters darker days, and with more people accessing town centres by walking and cycling, lighting will be essential in enabling town centres to continue trading and functioning through the winter.
In this report we discuss why now is the time for local governments to rethink the value of urban lighting beyond just a functional add-on for safety or beautification and recognise it as a solution for economic recovery, as well as the quality of life for citizens, both during and post-pandemic.
In collaboration with our Lighting, Masterplanning and City Economics teams, we have highlighted nine challenges at the heart of town centre regeneration and the role of lighting as a tool to take practical action. Our selection of global case studies focus on the socio-economic value of lighting and ways to enhance our human experience in public spaces during the hours of darkness. The report concludes with guidance on developing a comprehensive lighting strategy to meet with the town’s objectives for regeneration.