Kemeraltı Lighting Masterplan; Kemeraltı Lighting Masterplan;

Kemeraltı Lighting Masterplan, İzmir

Lighting masterplan plans to revive Izmir’s vibrant Kemeraltı nightscape

Extending the usability of public space from day into night-time was the key driving force behind the lighting masterplan for the historical Kemeraltı area in the port city of Izmir.

The aspiration for Turkey’s third largest city, crossroads of cultures on the Aegean Sea, was to create a lighting identity for its lively historic district; introducing a sustainable, integrated lighting system that would help to highlight its cosmopolitan heritage and improve visitor experience.

Arup’s lighting designers and electrical engineers were appointed to create a lighting masterplan for Kemeraltı District; together with the concept, schematic and detailed design of green areas, local streets and squares.

Our proposed lighting masterplan is part of the Izmir Tarih Project, which promotes a socially integrated development of the district. Our plan features sustainable lighting design solutions and state-of-the-art electrical engineering to illuminate the ancient, multi-layered character of the area.

By creating well-lit, safer urban nightscapes, public spaces like streets and squares acquire an even more prominent role in the social and economic life of the local community, particularly in temperate climates, promoting commerce and encouraging more diverse social use of the spaces.

Project Summary


>50% total energy savings under proposed intervention

4sub-districts with unique identities

500,000m2area

Masterplan Masterplan

Kemeraltı, a bustling commercial area during the day, is made up of four sub-districts, including the Old Jewish quarters, with synagogues still in use, an Ottoman quarter with historical mosques and hans; a residential area with colourful painted houses and traditional shops. The project area, a network of labyrinthine streets between Konak Square and the Ancient Agora, is an Archaeological Protected Site.

Five minarets provide the key navigation landmarks for city dwellers during the daytime, but safe way-finding becomes impossible at night, when the bustling area becomes deserted with light of zero lux measurements in some areas and landmarks hidden in complete darkness. The existing situation does not only prevent easy wayfinding and navigating; but it also robs Kemeraltı of its historic features at night, making these landmark buildings disappear in the darkness.

The project required a holistic understanding of Kemeraltı’s urban fabric to create harmony between its unique heritage identity and dense pedestrian use. As our partner for the Kemeraltı Lighting Masterplan, Arup delivered a detailed, quality project: its success was predicated on their unique approach to understanding the qualitative and quantitative issues that the area faces at night. ” Gökhan Kutlu Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Historical Environment and Cultural Heritage Branch Manager

The aspiration was to create a lighting identity for this historic district; introducing a sustainable, integrated lighting system that would help highlight the area’s cosmopolitan heritage and improve visitor experience, promoting commerce and encouraging more diverse social use of the spaces by introducing well-lit, safer urban nightscapes.

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality - The Directorate of Historical Sites and Cultural Assets appointed Arup to create a lighting masterplan for Kemeraltı; together with the concept, schematic and detailed design of green areas, local streets and squares. In order to come up with a holistic design solution, our lighting designers and electrical engineers held workshops and consultations with the local community to better understand their needs and discussed proposals.

Lighting as wayfinding

Sustainability: Transitioning to LED

Some of the other issues the city was seeking to address include glare and skyglow, an uncontrolled spill-out of light into the night sky which was a consequence of the current oversized lighting poles. As part of the proposed masterplan, the city would transition to human-scale light fixtures to minimise light pollution while connecting the luminaires to the historical context.

There would also be a switch from sodium lights to more sustainable and energy efficient LED lighting, creating savings more than 50% compared to the current set up. With sustainability at heart, using the latest smart lighting systems and presence sensors would reduce energy consumption, improve pedestrian safety and significantly improve Colour Rendering Index readings - a scale to help measure if a light can reveal colours accurately


Lighting design key for architectural integration

Lighting design key for architectural integration

Arup’s lighting masterplan proposes ‘families of fixtures’ to reinforce different features of the sub-districts and create a coherent and consistent nightscape in Kemeraltı.

Existing lighting would be replaced with designs sympathetic to the characteristics of the area, while the masterplan calls for a new centralised yet individual lighting control system to allow for easy maintenance.


Now cities are much more brighter than in the past which has big impact on nocturnal ecology. Our network of global experts and multi-diciplinary approach for projects, makes Arup the best partner to develop sensitive, sustainable, integrated lighting solutions for nocturnal cities and all dwellers. ”

Sebnem Gemalmaz Şebnem Gemalmaz Lighting Design Leader, Turkey