DARKNESS – Nordic Placemaking TALK

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Workshop 3 – March 2nd

8h30 to 10h CET

Darkness and light are essential parts of all life on earth. They influence the rhythms of ecosystems and communities. 

So what happens when there is too much, or too little darkness? 

In Tromsø, Norway, the sun doesn’t rise between November and January. Further south, a record-breaking cloudy December 2020 in Stockholm meant the sunlight was absent during the whole month. At the same time, our cities have never been so bright, making light pollution a major environmental concern for the 21st century. 

When planning cities in these conditions, one has to deal with the dark cityscape, rethinking how the absence of light affects the way we navigate the city and the emotions it triggers. More light often appears as the solution to creating attractive public spaces. However, balancing the right lighting is key to making public spaces more welcoming, safer, and creating a distinct identity. 

How do lighting and darkness affect our life in the city? Can we take advantage of darkness and use lighting to enhance the use of places? 


Share your experiences of winter in this combined seminar and workshop. We will explore the potential of light and darkness to create beloved public spaces for communities.



8h30-9h30: project presentations and Q&A

9h30-10h00: workshop



Sharon Stammer, and Marin Lupton from Light Collective

UK-based lighting consultancy and light activists, Light Collective will share their personal thoughts on darkness and the necessary balance required between light and dark for human health and the spaces we inhabit. They will also present the role of Guerrilla Lighting events for both engaging and educating communities about the transformative power of light within public spaces.

Cecilia Fredriksson, Josette Dahlin, from Helsingborg City’s planning office. 

Improved lighting is often part of reconstructing and upgrading public spaces but it also is a major part of the city’s urban safety strategy. It started with simple Christmas lights but later developed into large magical light installations throughout the whole winter season. They see that light creates possibilities to explore the city in a new light. At the same time, it is about more than just lighting up a place temporarily, therefore many of Helsingborg’s new installations become permanent and go hand in hand with collaboration projects and co-creation with inhabitants. Cecilia and Josette will talk about this strategy and present recent and ongoing projects like the park Furutorpsplatsen, walk/bike routes and tunnels in the district of Söder and a lighted running trail in forest area Pålsjö skog.

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