if friday afternoon had focused on light as a naturally occurring essential phenomenon to which organisms respond, as well as produce, saturday morning was the turn of light as a constructed item that can be recreated to enrich the urban landscape. Like in the thursday short film, artificial light comes to compete with the stars.
Urban planner and light artist Leni Schendinger provided some reflections on light in urban space. light is not in the city for mere utilitarian purposes. it can actually create atmospheres and convey meanings. In opposition to the “general ” trends that condemn artificial light as mainly the source of pollution, Schwendinger points out that artificial light should not damage the environment. unfortunately, it is often badly planned and ill-located.
A thoughtful and ad hoc -designed urban plan should reveal and enhance the features of the urban space, like in many cities where light and colors in buildings and streets are used to support and clarify the structure of the city.
In addition, colors can be added too, not just clear light. in the last few years there have been projects to do so in a number of cities around the world, unified under the project LUCI, Lighting Urban Community International (Montreal, among a number of other cities is a member) and the beautification projects in cities like Turin (luci d’artista).
Using colors to identify the main landmarks (the CN tower) and embellish those areas that have been abandoned or no longer operational (the parachute jump in Coney Island now transformed in a colorful monument) is now a current trend.
finally, lighting programs may enhance perception of security and safety, provide
an organized visual environment, strengthen the city identity and its general visual and navigational legibility.