With approximately 210,000 inhabitants, Eindhoven is the fifth city of the Netherlands. Eindhoven puts "leading in technology" into practice,and is rightly called the Brainport of the Netherlands, regarded as one of the high tech hotspots in Europe. As much as forty percent of Dutch investments in Research and Development are spent in the Eindhoven region. It is the place to start up innovative businesses and to study. In January 2011, for the third consecutive year, the critically acclaimed Intelligent Community Forum think tank (ICF, New York) ranked the Eindhoven region as one of the seven most brightest regions in the world.
Light in Eindhoven has to have meaning. It is not just functional but is also related to imagination and emotion. If you know why you want to illuminate something, the solution will be there for the taking. Eindhoven is a city with intensive and innovative cooperation between organizations open to new ideas in a quality of life that is constantly maintained and improved.
Eindhoven’s lighting strategy
The future is based on our history in light. The unique impact this has all had on the working climate and quality of life in Eindhoven is unmistakable. This is something the residents regard as extremely important and just as crucial as economic continuity.
An integral lighting plan enables Eindhoven to give the city a clear identity. To describe Eindhoven’s approach as simply a “lighting master plan” seems insufficient. The holistic 2007 “future vision” for Eindhoven includes not only street lighting and the illumination of key urban landmarks but also luminous events, advertising, art, and interiors and exteriors. The vision calls for the illumination of ideas and information.
The city council is not afraid to do things wrong, they see the need of the city, as a brainport, to develop quickly and to serve as a laboratory for many things. You need an openness of the municipal leaders and that kind of council to be very ambitious.
The Eindhoven Lighting strategy is based on a three leg approach:
The innovative city
At an urban planning level, lighting is extremely important: where there is light, there is life. But what does light do to people and how can light be used to maintain the quality of life in a city? This issue currently has even greater relevance given that more than half the world’s population now lives in cities.
The responsible city
Eindhoven is taking the moral responsibility of focusing on the key theme for the future, namely sustainability, or in other words - saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions and combating light pollution and light nuisance. As the City of Light, Eindhoven is also daring to opt for darkness.
The creative city
Light is not only functional. The ‘City of Light’ image can only exist if it is supported by the residents of Eindhoven. The diversity in city lighting is intended to be of high quality which will still appeal to a wide audience. Therefore Eindhoven is not only an innovative and responsible city but, above all, a creative city. Around 30.000 people work in the creative industry in the Eindhoven region.
Eindhoven’s Best Practices for PLUS
The newly transformed site of Strijp-S will have a unique, continuously developing, approach to public lighting: an approach that will highlight the experience of a creative, vibrant community in an inspirational environment that thrives on a fusion of living, working and recreation.
Strijp-S is to be balanced appropriately against the calls for sustainability and energy efficiency. The area will be developed within the context of a growing awareness of light pollution and the changing regulations that govern it.
In Strijp-S, innovative lighting solutions will create a series of different experiences, each relevant to the individual characteristics of that area with one-of-a-kind development.
Our perception of light depends on our own experiences and on the context in which we see the light. To create the right emotional and aesthetic effects, the lighting must take into account what Strijp-S was, what it is now, and what it will become.
The lighting in Strijp-S will incorporate an indefinite flexibility, which will allow it to reflect the area’s rich history, incorporate the latest technology and remain adaptable to the eventual evolution of the area Strijp-S.
The ambition is to make creativity and culture visible and tangible through a closely knit fusion of living, working, leisure and cultural facilities. This will require an innovative and flexible approach to lighting. Not only connecting and joining different spaces, but also identifying them.
The lighting plan for Strijp-S is based on an ‘experience framework approach’. This ensures a more detailed understanding of the contexts within which the lighting will perform. The environment and the different uses of space over time will require a multi-layered, flexible and adaptable solution.
Good Practice 1: Pedestrian crossings
Illuminated road markings show where pedestrians have priority and can alert for
approaching buses. Intelligent and interactive use of light is not a goal but a means.
Good Practice 2: Locally controlled floodlighting
You watch as a group of local boys walk into the open area of the (sport)park and
turn the lights up to floodlight a sports pitch - prototyping innovative locations that make people move.