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Eindhoven wins Auroralia Award 2014

11 December 2014, 15.00 GMT

(France) - Eindhoven, Netherlands; Malaga, Spain; and Lamego, Portugal win top three prizes respectively with Stutterheim, South Africa commended with Special Mention.

The winners of the Auroralia 2014 Award were announced at the prize ceremony organised by Schréder and LUCI in Lyon on 6th December during the annual Light Festival. Over 100 lighting professionals, from city authorities to architects and town planners gathered to discover the winning cities. Now in its 6th year, the Auroralia Award - organised jointly by LUCI and Schréder - continues to receive a high number of entries from around the world which confirms the increasing commitment of local authorities to minimise the ecological footprint of urban lighting.

For 2014, a total of seventeen towns and cities from all the world submitted entries: Bucaramanga - Colombia; Cairo - Egypt; Carballo - Spain; Coyhaique - Chile; Dubai - United Arab Emirates; Eindhoven - Netherlands; Heidelberg - Germany; Lamego - Portugal; Lyon - France; Malaga - Spain; Randfontein - South Africa; Salé - Morocco; Savigliani - Italy; Stutterheim - South Africa; Szekszárd - Hungary; Vadodara - India and Venice - Italy.

The panel of judges from the lighting and sustainability press used their extensive experience and unique insight to single out projects that not only significantly reduce energy consumption but have a positive social impact for the well-being of the local population.

1st Prize - Eindhoven, Netherlands
When the city of Eindhoven converted a former industrial site into a 66 acre complex combining residential, working, leisure and cultural facilities, they created Strijp-S, an urban laboratory, dedicated to creating an inspirational living environment. Aiming to become an energy neutral city, the council implemented sustainable smart lighting systems that create optimal experiences for the general public. The street lighting in Strijp-S is not only functional - to improve safety and visibility - but also aesthetic and interactive to reflect the living nature of the public space.

The luminaires can be controlled individually and are custom fitted with RGB, warm white and cool white LEDs to create different ambiances (depending on the season and local events) and can even flash red to warn inhabitants of weather conditions such as approaching storms. By downloading an app, local residents can adapt the lighting for a few hours every night. The luminaires provide little glare and zero light pollution and nuisances. They are composed of 100% reusable materials. All with a very low energy consumption (a reduction of 33% per watt/meter compared to the old lighting scheme).

The Auroralia jury were impressed by this inspiring initiative which embraces sustainability in all its forms. To paraphrase Serge van den Berg of the energy sustainability firm HetEnergieBureau, in charge of the lighting installation: “A sustainable environment is one that's not just energy-efficient but also one where people enjoy being.”

The jury awarded first prize to this forward thinking city to encourage them in the driving role they have adopted for building the future of public lighting.

2nd Prize - Malaga, Spain
The Back2Light Soho regeneration project was launched in 2010 after a group of neighbours, entrepreneurs and local businesses presented the city council with a document that exposed the urban decay of their community. This intervention revolutionised the way in which Malaga council now addresses their urban lighting projects. Roads were reclaimed to create more pedestrian zones for increased social interaction and to boost local trade. Trees, urban furniture and play areas were installed. The city analysed the latest innovations and technology to draw up a sustainable lighting plan that improves lighting levels and creates a warm nocturnal ambiance while reducing the city's energy consumption and environmental footprint. They implemented the latest LED lighting solutions integrating a motion detection and dimming system to create safe, comfortable and fun environments.

This careful selection of lighting technology also means that the city has reduced its energy costs and CO2 emissions by 50% per year. Light pollution was eliminated. This district has once more become a popular and inviting space where residents can relax and play after dark, improving their quality of life and creating a sense of pride in their home city.

By awarding the second prize to Malaga, the jury wanted to highlight the positive impact of this project on the social, economic and environmental aspects of urban life.

3rd Prize - Lamego, Portugal
This town in the Douro Valley boasts a very rich architecture with the ruins of a 12th century castle, Renaissance mansions and the monumental baroque Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. In 2012, the municipality launched a sustainable lighting renovation project with the goal of enhancing the town's heritage to revitalise tourism and creating engaging and secure public spaces for residents. New luminaires were carefully chosen to ensure an aesthetic design in line with the architectural heritage while integrating modern technology to reduce the town's environmental footprint. By installing LED luminaires with a remote management system that dims the light during the night, this Portuguese town has reduced its energy consumption by 70% and its CO2 emissions by nearly 21 tonnes per year.

This urban renewal project which has transformed the nocturnal life within the town was unanimously praised by the press. The Auroralia judges joined in this overwhelming support by awarding the third prize to this Portuguese town.

Special Mention - Stutterheim, South Africa
This rural town launched a plan to replace its lighting to fulfil multiple objectives;
• enhance the landscape
• increase safety for residents travelling to work at night in dark environments
• reduce energy costs without compromising lighting levels and
• respect dark sky initiatives.

The lighting material also had to reflect the local forestry industry. With LED luminaires mounted on poles made from wood sourced locally, this successful relighting initiative has lifted the sense of well-being for the local population, some of whom have to commute by foot often after nightfall. It has also reduced energy costs and CO2 emissions by an impressive 79%!
By awarding a special mention to this town, the jury wanted to highlight their initiative as an excellent example to follow.

About the jury
The Auroralia jury is composed of members of the press specialising in urban lighting, town planning and sustainable development. For 2014, the calibre of these judges was second to none:
Albert Punsola - Ciudad Sostenible (Spain)
Britta Hölzemann - Licht (Germany)
Dr. Zhang Zin - Low Carbon Lighting (China)
Olivier Namias - Lux (France)
Paul James - mondo*arc (International)
Thiago Gaya - L+D (Brazil)


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