Monday, May 11, 2015

Haste makes waste - a city at night

Night time sodium lighting along the Saskatoon river boardwalk
I recently returned from a SafeGrowth training in Saskatoon, that city of a quarter million residents in north central Canada. Urban planner Elisabeth Miller and I have been running annual training there with city staff and others for over a decade.

SafeGrowth team project presentations were terrific and after the final day I strolled along the downtown boardwalk park of the South Saskatchewan River.

Plenty of night time visibility with sodium lighting
What a beautiful spot. Most of the boardwalk and surrounding buildings are lit by sodium lighting in spite of the universal rush by lighting specialists to replace night lights with bright white LED lights (some say for safety, I say for economy).

Sodium lighting? Yep, the lights that create that yellowish hue so many love to hate. People strolled along the boardwalk who didn’t seem the least bit fearful! (I didn’t photograph them in order to avoid looking creepy).

Bessborough Hotel on the South Saskatchewan River near the boardwalk
Does this place gets dicey later in summer when summer activities start? Perhaps. But when I walked here it was  beautiful. It might look monotone, but the ambient lighting effect is warm and it certainly isn’t too dark. I’m beginning to think we may be speeding too quickly to replace sodium lighting.

Monotone, but still beautiful lighting


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