Lighting incentive schemes
Singapore, 14th January 2010
Many cities around the world take to urban redevelopment and city beautification to attract visitors and entice people to live and work in their city. A vibrant city generally means a vibrant economy and a positive balance in the books…is that not the bottom line for most? Many cities in Europe and the US and major capital cities in Asia have moved into bringing their city to this next level.
It is not difficult to see that a lighting strategy is something that forms part of the plans when a city government embarks on this road. However the stumble block often encountered is that not all buildings and structures are owned by the city, on the contrary, most are in private hands. So while governments can impose lighting directions on to their own properties (though you would be surprised how little the proverbial “right pocket” knows of or communicates with its “left pocket” 🙂 ), it is a different proposition to get private owners to fork out money to light up their building. I was confronted with it again when one of our clients called me to discuss the lighting requirements for their new development in Singapore’s CBD (Central Business District).
After previous failed attempts Singapore realized that it had to give something back to motivate building owners and has now adopted a lighting incentive scheme to facilitate and stimulate private owners and developers to apply lighting to the exterior of their buildings in a bid to make the city more vibrant. The incentives come in two different forms. One is a cash grant, the other an additional GFA (Gross Floor Area) both expressed as a percentage of the lighting cost. The extra GFA can be used in the planning of new buildings or renovation / extensions of existing ones.
The scheme has been in place for about 2 years now and gradually we start seeing the results. It is a good example that in life you have to give and take to make it win-win for all.