Amid increasing focus and divided opinions on lighting public spaces, exterior lighting company Paviom, has been selected to provide industry support for a newly commissioned study to look at how cities can balance the conflicting requirements of creating urban identity and maintaining a low-carbon economy. 

The project, entitled Cities in the Shade: New Strategies for Sustainable Lighting in the Public Realm, is a collaboration between the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art and the Megaman Charity Trust Fund.

The project aims to explore the psychology of lighting the public realm and the practicalities of place making while reducing energy consumption. However, as sustainability in lighting is not just about energy efficient light sources, the project will also explore the role lighting can play in creating sustainable urban communities.

The two-year study will be led by Helen Hamlyn Research Associate Megan Charnley, a graduate of the RCA’s Department of Architecture. Professor Jeremy Myerson, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre, said:

"Cities are seeking to move towards lower-carbon economy and powerful exterior public lighting schemes are not without its opponents - having received much media attention in recent times. Therefore, it seemed that the time was right to look at how lighting can contribute to sustainable urban development."

Exterior lighting company Paviom will be supporting the project. Simon White, General Manager at Paviom explained:

"We are delighted to support this project with the Helen Hamlyn Centre. We began Paviom with a commitment to high-level design combined with a strong environmental focus. We are looking forward to exploring how countries can reduce energy consumption, energy costs and carbon emissions and yet still illuminate public spaces."