Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind international competition to design a new standard streetlight for Los Angeles.
“When we invest in smarter design in our streetlights and infrastructure, we can do more than brighten our public spaces — we can illuminate a future that’s cleaner, greener and safer for all Angelenos,” Garcetti said.
“L.A. Lights the Way is a competition where the winners aren’t the artists alone, but the people who live, work and walk in our neighborhoods every day, and it will help us combat climate change and promote equity across our city,” he said.
The competition “will ask applicants to consider how streetlights can incorporate new technology, include a written plaque or other space for text on each pole, and provide shade to help ease the impacts of the climate crisis,” according to a statement released by the mayor’s office.
The winner will get to design streetlights on a “dramatic scale and in nearly every corner of Los Angeles,” according to the mayor’s office. The final design will not affect historic street lights already in place, but will apply as the Bureau of Street Lighting gradually replaces the roughly 150,000 standard streetlights citywide.
The Bureau of Street Lighting currently installs 1,000 to 2,000 standard streetlights annually.
The competition is open to applicants from across the world until 5 p.m. on Jan. 10. More than $75,000 in prizes will be awarded, including $70,000 to the overall winner and smaller prizes to competitors in high school, college and graduate school students in Los Angeles County.
The entries will be judged by a panel of seven experts in design, lighting and public infrastructure. The winner will be announced in June.
In addition to providing technological innovation, applicants are encouraged to build features into their designs, including air-quality monitors, EV charging stations, real-time traffic monitors, 5G technology and light pollution mitigations, according to the mayor’s office.
“There is no other city in the United States that has a history of streetlight design as rich and varied as Los Angeles does,” said Christopher Hawthorne, the city’s chief design officer. “This competition will allow us to select a new standard streetlight design that both honors that remarkable legacy and points to the future.”
More information on the competition is at LALightstheWay.org.
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