The criteria by which lighting is repaired or installed in the city are purely utilitarian: they lack feedback, analysis and control over changes in the quality of life. How to overcome this gap through digitalization and create a unified lighting environment, said Natalya Bystryantseva, head of the ITMO Higher School of Lighting Design.
The Alexander Garden is lit in full accordance with the standards: the pedestrian sees and distinguishes objects, but this is not enough. The user interest assessment showed that 40% of user reactions are negatively active or negatively passive. Lighting in the garden meets safety requirements, but does not create a sense of security. Therefore, it is not enough to comply with the norms - it is necessary to understand the user and his perception of the environment. Otherwise, the park will not work as a public space, and fewer people will come there than they could. ITMO University's Lighting Design International Design and Research Laboratory, where this study was conducted, is confident that the problem is systemic and the city needs a new, broader model of lighting criteria related to safety, comfort, economic viability, user interest, and new forms of energy efficiency. .
Current criteria are not responsible for the future quality of life
The criteria for the development of the light environment, which are determined by the municipality and state unitary enterprises, today are purely utilitarian in nature. This is an increase in energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, the introduction of modern technologies and, of course, import substitution. In accordance with them, manufacturing companies plan their short-term strategies: increase the technical capabilities of equipment, increase its functionality and energy efficiency. So the industry and the city are making changes on a pragmatic level, but what remains outside is how these changes affect the quality of life. Meanwhile, other qualitative indicators are gaining weight at the federal level: the first Urban Environment Quality Index, compiled by the Ministry of Housing and Public Utilities and Strelka Design Bureau, has recently been released. The rating evaluates cities according to 36 criteria, among which light is actively used: the share of illuminated streets, passages, embankments. It is curious that 7 out of 10 leading cities are located in the Moscow region, and Kudrovo is not far behind St. Petersburg.
According to the comprehensive urban development program, by 2030 they plan to bring St. Petersburg to the level of the center of the light capital of Russia. Obviously, to solve this problem, it will be necessary to expand the system of criteria towards qualitative indicators. Until then, there will be a big gap between what the authorities want, what the lighting designer needs, and what the industry wants.
International experience has already moved to the next stage: companies and authorities have agreed among themselves, setting common long-term goals. Therefore, European companies are focused on quality criteria, and also see how to develop production in a 15-year perspective.
European criteria cannot be copied - you can only build on them
In Finland, which is close to us, adaptive lighting is used on intercity highways, in city parks and on the streets. At the same time, the effect of the implementation is calculated in different planes: economy, comfort, safety, eventfulness, aesthetics. There are many developments, but it will not work to take and transfer the European experience to Russia. Firstly, there are many models of the same adaptive lighting, and for each one it is necessary to calculate the economic model. Secondly, even Finnish models will not suit neighboring St. Petersburg from the point of view of citizens: we have a different concept of a sense of security, and those parameters that are normal for the Scandinavian countries will work differently here.
Thus, we will have to determine the criteria for the transition ourselves. Natalia Bystryantseva and ITMO University's international design and research laboratory for lighting design identify 5 blocks of criteria.
The first block is the already mentioned Security, which should include both technical requirements and criteria for the perception of citizens.
Energy efficiency. It includes not only the modernization of lighting equipment, but also rationality and the introduction of adaptive lighting, which is associated with the third set of criteria - Adaptability.
Identity. The most complex block, which includes tourist activity, the uniqueness of urban facilities, and light culture. Identity exists on several levels. Thus, research on emotions shows that tourists from Russia and Europe choose different types of objects to visit because they evoke different emotional responses. An important criterion of identity is eventfulness. The changeable "event" environment makes people more active and takes communication with the city to a new level. Natalya Bystryantseva attaches particular importance to identity, because it changes the economic profitability of territories: for example, after the opening of New Holland, the value of real estate in this area has risen sharply.
Such effects can be scaled and put on stream if the solutions are calculated according to the same criteria in one model. Thus, already lighting designers and manufacturers at the project level will be able to consider the change in the quality of the environment - and not just visualize.
Informativeness is the readability of the semantic and navigational layer of the city. Problems at this level unite different areas of St. Petersburg: as a rule, advertising and navigation objects overlap each other in an overloaded visual environment. Because of this, drivers get tired twice as fast, irritability increases, reaction speed decreases - the accident rate increases. And it cannot be attributed to any particular area, just as it is impossible to say at which particular intersection the driver got tired. Therefore, it is not enough to evaluate individual objects - generalizing integral indicators are needed for the entire urban environment.
Analyzing the data, we developed a language - evaluation criteria. It is the language in which the city speaks about the quality of life of its citizens. That is, the data works for the percentage of quality that the city needs. — Natalia Bystryantseva
Such a branched system of indicators can be maintained and controlled only within a single model. And so that both the authorities and the industry can use it, it can only exist in the form of a digital software product.
Digitization can bring quantitative and qualitative criteria together with the budget
In 2018, leading Russian lighting design expert Natalya Bystryantseva and Chairman of the Energy Committee Andrey Bondarchuk presented a platform for the development of the lighting environment in St. Petersburg at the PLDC Lighting Designers Convention in Singapore. The platform was the first step towards creating a human-centric lighting environment.
Lensvet actively participated in the development, which has accumulated problems that can only be solved with the help of digitalization. The company had detailed data for literally every lamp in the city, but in manual mode it could not freely operate with them, for example, distribute and justify the budget.
Under the auspices of the Energy Committee, Lensvet and ITMO began to develop a program for processing these data. The results of their own research, information from the Committees, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Yandex were added to the system. Today, the platform contains all the information about 18 districts of St. Petersburg: about each lamp, its service life, cable, demolition.
Now there is a move of all handmade work, which is in Lensvet, to a digital platform. Before that, data was cleaned and structured for 2 years, since the effectiveness of the system does not depend on how much data it contains, but on how accurate it is.
So far, the system has two types of criteria by which the calculation is made. The first criterion is equipment wear. For example, if we replace a light fixture from 1960, we will get an increase in energy efficiency, although nothing will change perceptually. The second criterion is new construction, which takes into account security issues, the criminality of the area, and so on. The system has a “social priority” option: the program identifies areas with the maximum number of people, such as transit zones or densely built-up areas, that most urgently need changes.
By switching between different criteria, Lensvet can choose where to send specific money and what result they will give. Thus, the budget allocated by the city will be precisely calculated according to the goals: if the authorities prioritize energy efficiency, the company can formalize the task in the program and calculate it.
Each amount for each object will be accurately distributed, and the city will understand how it develops its infrastructure. — Natalia Bystryantseva
Many Russian cities are not ready to implement such a model in the near future, because not all officials are ready to reload city data. But looking to the future—when the Urban Quality Index moves from being an assessment tool to being a goal—cities will need a model to measure at a larger scale.
The transition to digital transforms the cooperation between industry and government
Today, the entire coordination system suggests that there is no agreement within the authorities of one city, be it Moscow or St. Petersburg. Companies do not understand which committee has the final decision: it all depends on individuals and how they affect the industry. The task of the professional community is to coordinate all the committees in order to develop a unified position in relation to the city and a unified model for the development of the light environment. Therefore, the next stage in the development of the platform is to transfer processes and all interested Committees to it.
Working with the same model, cities will be able to choose different vectors of development. Some will consider the criteria for information content, others - the criteria for energy efficiency. Therefore, manufacturing companies will be more comfortable to work: they will be able to occupy their niche instead of fighting for the same thing.
Will there be light at the end of the tunnel
Even Moscow has a limited resource. Therefore, other cities will not be able to adopt the experience of the capital - as well as the experience of St. Petersburg. For example, in Arkhangelsk, almost no money is allocated for new construction of lighting, and it is carried out from the funds that are saved. This means that regional decisions must be even more precise than in St. Petersburg: companies must understand the return on each spending and see the next step. This can only be done digitally.
Digitization will help create a single document that will show how the city should look like and link all participants in one chain. Petersburg has the opportunity to become the first such city where each committee understands its local task and works through it, knowing how the result will fit into the overall system and to whom to pass it on.
As a result, we must come to such a digital model, where the indicators are focused on the quality of the city's light environment. Integral criteria will help to accurately set tasks for each participant in the process: lighting designers, engineers, state unitary enterprises - everyone will work towards a single goal focused on the needs of citizens. This will take the industry to a new level and bring it closer to a productive tripartite alliance between authorities, research institutions and the market.
Information about the expert: Natalia Bystryantseva
Cand. architecture, associate professor at ITMO University, head of the international design and research laboratory CLD ITMO University. Member of the creative association of lighting designers RULD, jury of Russian and international awards in the field of light art and light design. Winner of the Moscow Government Prize in the nomination "Architecture and Design", 2014. Author of more than 20 scientific publications and about 80 lighting projects, 10 of which are urban lighting development strategies. Developer of a platform for integrated management and development of lighting in St. Petersburg. Conducts research on the criteria for assessing the quality of the city's light environment and adaptive lighting. Co-developer and curator in Russia of the international project LIGHT4HEALTH, whose participants are the world's leading universities in the field of lighting design and the impact of light on human health.
The material was compiled based on the speech of Natalia Bystryantseva as part of a panel discussion at the Lighting Design forum, November 1–2, St. Petersburg.
Publication link: https://expertnw.com/tekhnologii/osveshchenie-iz-pravil-kak-sozdaetsya-edinaya-svetovaya-sreda-peterburga-/