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Publication - Guidance

Town Centre Planning Pilot - Perth And Kinross Council City Of Light Action Plan - Delivering Sustainable Lighting - 'How To' Guide

Published: 15 Jun 2016
Part of:
Building, planning and design
ISBN:
9781786522795

Guide demonstrating an idea from the Town Centre Toolkit in practice on creating a lighting strategy for a town centre.

19 page PDF

7.7MB

19 page PDF

7.7MB

Contents
Town Centre Planning Pilot - Perth And Kinross Council City Of Light Action Plan - Delivering Sustainable Lighting - 'How To' Guide
Perth and Kinross Council: City of Light Action Plan - Delivering sustainable lightin 'How To' Guide

19 page PDF

7.7MB

Perth and Kinross Council: City of Light Action Plan - Delivering sustainable lightin 'How To' Guide

Town centres are at the heart of their communities and can be hubs for a range of activities. It is important that planning supports the role of town centres to thrive and meet the needs of their residents, businesses and visitors for the 21 st century.

The Town Centre Action Plan (November 2014) sets out various actions to bring a focus on town centres.

One of its key themes is Proactive Planning, the Scottish Government fully embraces the Town Centres Review recommendation for a simple, encouraging and pro-active planning policy in support of town centres.

Town Centre Action Plan

Town Centre Action Plan

We committed in the Action Plan that:

We will identify pilots with interested planning authorities who wish to consider collaboration and test approaches which could help simplify planning processes in town centres.

The Town Centres Planning Pilots Programme is working with 10 planning authorities and Heads of Planning Scotland ( HOPS) supporting 15 pilots based around 7 key areas, as shown on the map.

  • The City of Light Action Plan outlines a cohesive approach to delivering sustainable lighting within the city centre, as Perth & Kinross Council sets out to deliver the vision in the Perth City Plan; make Perth one of Europe's best small cities to work, live and visit.

Planning Authorities Map

Planning Authorities Map

Perth City Lighting Action Plan

The Perth City Plan outlines smart growth within the city region and sets out a vision for Perth as a successful small, low carbon European city.

Project Details: The story behind it all…

The City of Light Action Plan was developed in collaboration with Tayside Street Lighting Partnership, as Perth and Kinross Council sets out a cohesive approach to lighting within the city centre, in recognition of the importance lighting plays as a key driver of the evening and night time economy, as well as addressing the carbon footprint as a result of energy consumption.

As a document, the Lighting Plan outlines the partnerships approach to a number of key initiatives around the city centre:

  • Key gateway entry points
  • Street lighting
  • Feature and orientation lighting
  • Lighting for retail
  • Architectural lighting
  • Lighting for greenspace
  • Light art
  • Events lighting
  • Implementation
  • Maintenance

The Scottish Government's Town Centre Toolkit recognises that town centres must be attractive, active and accessible and these three themes have been used throughout the design process of the Action Plan.

Taking inspiration from the Town CentreToolkit

The Scottish Government's Town Centre Toolkit recognises that town centres must be attractive, active and accessible.

The Toolkit encourages local authorities and other stakeholders to recognise the significant value of their historic built environment to promote sustainable economic growth.

Extracts from the Town Centre Toolkit:

Daytime/Nighttime

Key considerations include avoiding a significant change in character from day to night and ensuring that routes are well-lit and that places still have active use and surveillance during the evening.

  • Lighting schemes can help to improve the night-time character of a town's streets. However, it is also important that consideration is given to lighting which focuses on the streets' adjacent spaces, side streets and closes. By integrating lighting into public space design, the town centre environment can be improved for pedestrians. You may wish to consider lighting prominent buildings or key town centre landmarks as features. Innovative lighting projects can become a feature, attracting visitors and provinding a focus for evening events, supporting the town's evening economy.

Some Ideas

Some Ideas

Some Ideas

Design spaces to accommodate night tim and cultural uses, with flexible space serviced with power and flexible lighting.

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Before

During the day Perth is a bustling hive of activity however, the city centre loses this impetus by the evening and lacks a sense of arrival. Aside from the odd exception of the Concert Hall, and to a lesser extent some religious buildings, the majority of the streetscape is a mixture of sodium and LED street lighting.

An aging infrastructure which prioritised the provision of street lighting, has led to a lack of consistent lighting schemes throughout the city centre, which has resulted in perception of Perth being a 'ghost town' during the evening.

Whilst there was evidence to suggest this was not the case, there was a recognition within the partnership of a need to align the challenges faced with reducing the high energy consumption of street lighting with an approach which aesthetic/feature lighting, which would highlight and exploit the assets the city has.

The challenge facing the council was bridging the perception of Perth going from a 'bustling' city centre during the day to a 'ghost town' at night.

Vision

The Perth City Plan sets out a vision for the city, where:

  • environmental technologies will be a key driver of economic growth and innovation;
  • the city will grow in a responsible way, reducing car dependency;
  • the council will take full advantage of digital technologies to create a city which is efficient and connected;
  • low-carbon will be a way of life; and
  • the unique characteristics of the historic city centre and Perth's natural setting will be celebrated and enhanced.

The council wants to create a safe, high quality pedestrian environment for residents, local users and visitors to the city centre.

What was done...

A consultant was appointed to outline a collaborative approach to lighting, and identify a series of initiatives for the partnership to take forward. The development of the City of Light Action Plan was based on the following elements:

Audit

  • An audit of the existing architectural lighting arrangements for key public buildings and landmarks in the City Centre and at key gateways to the city.
  • An audit of the existing decorative lighting schemes in public realm areas in the City Centre and Tay riverside areas.
  • Identification of gaps in provision and the opportunities for new installation based on a list of buildings/locations provided by the partnership.

Design

  • Recommended new lighting designs and/or enhanced treatments for key gateways/public buildings/landmarks/public realm.
  • Identification of the technical infrastructure required to support proposed schemes and temporary city dressing/event based installations.

Installation Programme

  • A proposed timeline for the deployment and installation of new lighting schemes.
  • An indicative capital expenditure schedule for the installation of new schemes and related infrastructure

Maintenance

  • A proposed plan for ongoing maintenance of the installed schemes including indicative recurring revenue expenditure.

Audit

An audit of the current infrastructure around the city centre highlighted a number of issues facing the council and other local authorities around Scotland; a mixed palette of sodium and LED lighting, with no consistency in lighting levels or equipment. In fact the audit threw up a number of concerns and highlighted areas of darkness much worse than originally anticipated.

The partnership viewed the challenges around the lighting as an opportunity to adopt a collaborative framework to address a number of issues. By pooling together resources, it allows Perth and Kinross Council and the Tayside Street Lighting Partnership to address the objectives of the Lighting Plan more efficiently.

Approach:

It was felt that key to the successful implementation of the City of Light Action Plan was an approach to lighting which covered a number of key initiatives around the city centre, rather than adopting an approach to light a couple of key buildings. Identifying and developing a series of initiatives would:

  • add value to the Perth City Centre brand;
  • highlight and enhance the city centre's built heritage at night;
  • create a vibrant atmosphere around the city centre as a whole, not just specific streets; and
  • help the council engage with the private sector, property owners and key partners when promoting the Action Plan and seeking resources/commercial sponsorship for implementation.

Project Objectives:

  • Improve the visual amenity of Mill Street thus providing an attractive environment for pedestrians whilst creating a distinctive 'place' - this underpins the vision of the Perth City Plan.
  • Eliminate multiplicity of landownership.
  • Unlock land and provision of an environment which will act as a catalyst for development and private sector investment.
  • Connect the city's main cultural assets - Perth Museum & Art Gallery, the Concert Hall and Perth Theatre.
  • Improve the pedestrian links (Vennels) between Mill Street and the High Street.
  • Encourage a vibrant night-time economy.
  • Provide attractive spaces which can be utilised for markets, events and outdoor eating and drinking.
  • Implement a shared space to generate a sense of place.

The Scheme

The Action Plan focuses on a number of key points:

  • Make the journey from the edge of the city to the centre is more engaging.
  • Help address the perception of the city centre being a 'ghost town' at night.
  • Engage with users and visitors of the city centre and increase dwell time to drive up performance of the evening economy.
  • Promote the natural and cultural assets of the city centre.

The City of Light Action Plan

The City of Light Action Plan

The City of Light Action Plan recognises the burden the council faces in terms of costs and energy, when lighting the city centre and hinterland. The proposals outline opportunities to utilise the latest energy saving technology and takes into account the strategic objectives of the Street Lighting Partnership.

What was done…

Key partners: City Development, Tayside Street Lighting Partnership, Property, City Centre Management and Lightfolio.

The development of the City of Light Action Plan was based on the following elements:

  • An audit of the existing architectural lighting arrangements for key public buildings and landmarks in the city centre and at key gateways to the city.
  • An audit of the existing decorative lighting schemes in public realm areas in the city centre and Tay riverside areas.
  • Identification of gaps in provision and the opportunities for new installation based on a list of buildings/locations provided by the partnership.
  • Recommended new lighting designs and/or enhanced treatments for key gateways/public buildings/landmarks/public realm.
  • Identification of the technical infrastructure required to support proposed schemes and the infrastructure to support temporary city dressing/event based installations.
  • A proposed timeline for the deployment and installation of new lighting schemes.
  • An indicative capital expenditure schedule for the installation of new schemes and related infrastructure.
  • A proposed plan for ongoing maintenance of the installed schemes including indicative recurring revenue expenditure.

The City of Light Action Plan

The City of Light Action Plan

Perth & Kinross Council appointed Lightfolio Ltd with a brief to research and develop a lighting masterplan, which would fit in with the overarching vision of the Perth City Plan; Make Perth one of the best small cities in Europe. The Action Plan also needed to identify and link in with local and national context in terms of sustainable economic development and carbon reduction.

Following research on the background context and review of current policies, strategies and investment proposals at a local and national level, the consultant undertook an extensive review of current lighting arrangements, surveying the immediate city centre, river corridor and key gateways/entry points into Perth. Particular effort was made to study the transition from day to night, as this is key to how a successful evening economy may be delivered in part by well targeted feature lighting intervention.

Above everything was the need to tell the story of the city, picking out its unique assets and attributes, then develop a suite of strategic initiatives to deliver an overall vision for how the city would look at feel after dark, whilst taking into account the very real issues of energy use and maintenance.

Individual projects and initiatives were prioritised, and a conceptual approach identified and catalogued for each scheme, which will inform the detailed design stage at implementation. Costings were also developed for the likely capital costs based around the concepts identified, along with the type of equipment and controls that would be regarded as maintainable within the overall plan.

At this stage, further engagement was held with the Street Lighting Partnership and Property, in order to ensure the proposals, equipment and control systems were deliverable without placing an additional burden on resources. It was agreed the Lighting Plan will target the replacement of the current street lighting infrastructure, where possible, in order avoid excessive maintenance costs.

In light of national policy on carbon reduction, the City of Light Action Plan focuses on the implementation of LED lighting, which will significantly reduce the impact of lighting on the environment. Proposals also cater for the installation of Intelligent Street Lighting, particularly along key pedestrian routes in the City Centre, as the authority looks to reduce the cost and carbon footprint of lighting in Perth.

How it works

2 High Street

This project at 2 High Street shows just what can be achieved through subtle and respectful lighting intervention on one of the city's key architectural assets. This scheme is made up entirely of LED sources with colour change capability subtly incorporated behind the balustrades at first floor and dome level.

The colour change capability can be extended too and synchronised with other buildings and spaces throughout the city centre, producing over time a thrilling and cohesive display to delight residents and visitors alike.

Over time the delivery of individual, prioritised projects will build into a cohesive vision for lighting across the city, bringing a new vigour and dynamism after dark, encouraging people to explore and enjoy the public realm. The multiple layers of light and the effects that can be created will ensure that initial interest is retained and as such benefits to the evening economy will be sustained.

Lighting is a powerful tool and will help make Perth City Centre more active, accessible and attractive at night - key strategic aims of the Town Centre Toolkit.

Policy links

Designing Streets - focus on place and movement of pedestrians (implementation of a shared space). http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/307126/0096540.pdf

The Town Centre Action Plan - Vibrant local economies, Enterprising Communities and Pro-active Planning.

It encourages local authorities and other stakeholders to recognise the significant value of their historic built environment to promote sustainable economic growth. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0043/00437686.pdf

TayPlan/PKC Local Development Plan - Street Lighting Strategy and Lighting Action Plan will be formally adopted as part of Supplementary Guidance for developers http://www.pkc.gov.uk/Local-Development-Plan

PKC Single Outcome Agreement - Promoting a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable economy, and creating a safe and sustainable place for future generations. http://www.pkc.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx

Challenges

  • Scale of Lighting Plan increased substantially from the initial brief, which resulted in delays with the documents completion.
  • Establishing a framework of investment which will secure buy in from councillors and the private sector during times of austerity.
  • Promoting the Lighting Plan and demonstrating how the investment in feature lighting can add value to the city centre and help the council achieve the wider strategic economic objectives of the Perth City Plan.
  • Identifying resources which will incentivise the private sector to investment in lighting on private buildings.

Key learning points

  • Obtain knowledge: Involve key stakeholders/colleagues from the start to share local knowledge with affected stakeholders (internal and external).
  • Be realistic: It takes time to develop a comprehensive strategy, which covers more than street lighting and buildings. The brief and its requirements may change as you move forward.
  • Engage with stakeholders: If the proposals are seeking private sector investment, engage with the sector early on and ensure permission is obtained to promote concepts with certain buildings not the in authority's ownership.
  • Define the boundary early on: Officers used the city centre ring road as the main basis for a boundary, but this was slightly extended in parts. Overall, there was a clear delineation that this was for the city centre and not beyond.
  • Be prepared: the priorities of the local authority may not match those of the affected stakeholders.

Resources

People involved: Perth & Kinross Council (City Development, City Centre Management, Business Services, Property, Greenspace) and
Street Lighting Partnership

Cost: £20k Timescale: 8 months

Achievements

  • Secured a cohesive approach to lighting in Perth City Centre - Sustainable Lighting Strategy for Perth.
  • Identifies the priorities for investment and areas within the city centre, which can be aligned with other strategic investment projects i.e. ERDF LED replacement programme.

Lighting Plan has outlined:

  • 45 treatments for historic and landmark buildings within the city centre.
  • Five treatments for gateways and landmarks on the approach to Perth.
  • A light festival trail around the city centre.
  • Integration of partnership approach to street and feature lighting.
  • Town centre first achievements (Firsts): A comprehensive strategy for lighting which outlines treatments for buildings, gateways and public space.

For further information contact:
Michael Morgan
Regeneration Projects Officer, Perth and Kinross Council
01738 477929
MAMorgan@pkc.gov.uk


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