Finnish city comes top

The city of Jyväskylä in Finland has been awarded the first prize in the 2009 city.people.light awards, the annual competition organized by Philips and the Lighting Urban Community International Association (LUCI) to reward projects which demonstrate the contribution lighting can make to the well-being of those who live, work or visit a city or town.

At a ceremony in Gwangju, South Korea, Mr Kari Stroem and Mr Pauly Partanen, representing Jyväskylä were presented with the 2009 city.people.light first prize, in recognition of the city’s ‘City of Light’ project. This initiative set out to position the city as a forerunner in outdoor lighting, investing in the latest lighting technology to enhance its architecture.

Being located in central Finland and spending most of the winter months in darkness, Jyväskylä also needed to ensure that lighting provided a strong sense of security for its vibrant and fast-growing population, while ensuring that the extensive use of artificial light is as energy efficient and as environmentally sustainable as possible.

“We appreciated Jyväskylä’s great involvement in using all the potential lighting can offer to stimulate sustainable urban development,” says Iris Dijkstra, an independent lighting designer and president of the multinational city.people.light awards jury. “The City of Light project aims to build high-quality outdoor lighting in a purposeful fashion to highlight architectural gems, as well as to create optical guidance with light. At the same time Jyväskylä will also be able to reduce the energy consumption of its public lighting.”

Jyväskylä is one of five main prize winners in the 2009 city.people.light awards. Joint second prize went to projects in Hangzhou in China and Lachen in Switzerland, while projects in Copenhagen in Denmark and Moers in Germany were also commended with Special Mention prizes. 20 cities submitted entries for this year’s competition, with the six-person jury – made up of lighting architects, lighting designers and municipal lighting managers – deliberating over a number of criteria, including how a lighting project adds to the cultural and architectural heritage of a city, its night-time identity and environmental contribution.

“City leaders have a growing need to provide a welcoming, safe and sustainable environment for those who live, work or visit their cities,” comments Marc de Jong, CEO of the Professional Luminaires business within Philips Lighting. “All of this year’s city.people.light entrants have embraced this need superbly. Philips congratulates all of them – and especially the prize winners – for their creative and innovative approach to addressing the well-being of their residents through the use of lighting.”

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