Let’s make Christchurch safe at night

October, 2010

A survey in 2008 showed that only 32 percent of Christchurch residents felt safe going into the CBD after dark. That’s a disappointing figure and one that must change. With the city rebuild about to start, now is the perfect time and perhaps our only chance to do this.

Lots of people’s instability at night is a lighting issue. There have been problems with Christchurch lighting after dark for many years. The first one is the high number of dark areas. The whole area within the four avenues needs to be illuminated. This will increase the perception of safety. New technology means we can now light up this entire area of the city, but only have lights at 100 percent capacity when people are in those spaces. Where spaces are not being used, lights can be on 20 percent volume to take away the darkness. When people move into these areas, the light level can increase. This will add to night safety and also save energy when it’s not needed.

The other important factor here is light temperature. Have you ever been into a city at night and just felt that you really wanted to be there? The chances are it was the warm temperature of the lighting that gave you the feeling of pleasure and safety.

Lighting should not be about avoiding darkness, but creating a mood and ambience. Many cities of Europe project this at night and now Christchurch has a major opportunity to lead the world in this area using new technology. If the lighting was designed to create the right mood, people would not only feel good, they would feel safe.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to create a breath-taking city after dark? We now have the chance, but it will probably be our last.

Back to News Articles...

Lighting Council New Zealand
Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand Green Building Council
Standards New Zealand
Association of Lighting Designers
Pure Advantage - Green Growth for Greater Wealth
New Zealand Retail Interior Association
Canterbury Employers´ Chamber of Commerce