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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 24 November 2006

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New lighting plan for the City Centre

Source: www.ura.gov.sg

New Lighting Plan for the City Centre Unveiled

Singapore¡¯s city centre will soon come aglow with the new lighting plan for the city centre, presented by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
The lighting plan covers the key districts in the city centre, namely Orchard Road, Singapore River, Bras Basah.Bugis, and the Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Bay.
The lighting plan for the city centre was drawn up by URA¡¯s lighting consultant, Lighting Planners Associates (LPA), to enhance and emphasise Singapore¡¯s unique features as a tropical metropolis and garden city.
Benefits of good lighting
Cities around the world recognise the importance of lighting in creating a memorable and captivating image at night.
Developers and architects recognise the role of lighting in enhancing the architecture of buildings at night, and are increasingly incorporating lighting design as part and parcel of building design.
Good lighting can:

a)   Develop a signature image for the city. Good lighting of buildings can help to create a beautiful skyline at night, thus differentiating it from other cities.

b)   Create a beautiful nightscape. Lighting brings out the beauty of the city and its public spaces at night and increases its appeal.

c)   Enliven visitor¡¯s experience. Lighting helps in creating the desired ambience, thus evoking a multitude of sensory experiences, allowing people to enjoy the city after dark.

About the exhibition
The exhibition aims to encourage a greater appreciation and awareness of good lighting, by presenting some of the lighting strategies and proposals that can be implemented in the city. Good lighting practices and international examples are also featured in the exhibition.
-   The exhibition highlights the value and qualities of good lighting to our built environment, in making Singapore a great place to live, work and play in, not only by day, but just as importantly, at night.

-   It shows how lighting can be used to highlight Singapore¡¯s tropical garden-island state and multicultural diversity;

-   The exhibition provides some pointers to building owners in incorporating quality lighting that is aesthetically designed, help enhance corporate image and yet energy-efficient.

Private sector building owners and architects play an important part to realise the shared vision. There are incentives available to encourage participation by the private sector.
Casting the city in a new light
The lighting proposals for the city centre are outlined below.
Orchard Road
The lighting proposals for Orchard Road will focus on creating a revitalising and delightful shoppers¡¯ experience.
Key proposals are to light up the pedestrian mall and trees to create a sequential experience; and guidelines to create coherent and exciting shopfronts.
In addition, to create an engaging and multi-sensory pedestrian experience, special lighting features would be implemented at the three major junctions of Orchard Road ¨C Scotts Junction, Bideford Junction and Grange Junction.
The idea is to project moving and changing light at the junctions, to be activated when pedestrians cross the junction, so as to create a stage-like ¡®dramatic¡¯ atmosphere.
Singapore River
The allure of the Singapore River lies in the water and the waterfront promenade.
The lighting proposals thus centre around enhancing the water element, e.g. to accentuate the shimmering effects of the water and to provide a warm and inviting promenade ambience.
For example, placing floating ¡®jellyfish¡¯ lights in the water at Boat Quay to create a mesmerising ambience along the Boat Quay promenade.
Bras Basah.Bugus
The Bras Basah.Bugis area is positioned as a 24/7 entertainment hub of choice, a vibrant colourful district overflowing with youthful energy. It has the potential to have more bright lights to enhance the vibrancy of the area.
The lighting plan proposes to highlight gateways and focal points of entry into the area with better lighting and innovative light-integrated sculptures/markers.
Guidelines are also being drawn up to encourage building owners to light up key historical and cultural buildings such as the Kwan Im Temple, Sri Krishnan Temple, Singapore Art Museum, etc.
To further enhance its vibrancy, URA is currently reviewing the guidelines for building signages to encourage more bright lights. This is to encourage more luminous signboards, 3D ¡®art-vertisement¡¯ and animation, media walls, etc.
CBD and Marina Bay
The buildings and skyscrapers within the CBD and Marina Bay play a key role in the creation of a signature skyline of Singapore.
The proposals for this district thus focuses on lighting of building façade and building crowns, key routes, as well as lighting up of the waterfront promenade.
For example, white lighting will replace the current yellow lighting for the main arterial roads in the CBD, to create the image of a modern business and financial hub. This will be implemented first at the new downtown area along Marina Boulevard and Central Boulevard.
URA will also offer incentives in the form of additional Gross Floor Area (GFA) or a cash grant, to facilitate and encourage more building owners within the CBD and Marina Centre to install quality lightings for their developments. These would help to defray part of the capital cost of lighting installation.
New developments or those undergoing redevelopment and major addition and alteration (A&A) will be offered up to 2% additional GFA over and above the maximum allowable GFA under the Master Plan 2003 for the provision of building lighting.
Owners of existing buildings who do not plan to redevelop or carry out major A&A but wish to install quality lighting installations for their buildings, can apply for a cash grant to cover 50% of the lighting installation cost.
The cash grant is capped at the equivalent value of the 2% additional GFA or $500,000, whichever is lower. The government has set aside S$10 million fund for this cash grant, available for application over a 5-year period.
Exhibition Details
The ¡®Lighting Up Our City Centre¡¯ exhibition will be on at The URA Centre Atrium over 3 months, from 22 November 2006 to 28 February 2007.
Opening hours are Mon to Fri, 9am to 7pm; Sat, 9am to 5pm, closed on Sundays and public holidays. The exhibition will be extended till 9pm during the first week from 22 November 2006 till 28 November 2006, and every Friday till 28 February 2007. Admission is free.

Source: www.ura.gov.sg Media Release 21 Nov 2006

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