When you gaze at London’s skyline in the post-sunset hours, perhaps from one of the many of the capital’s rooftop bars, it’s hard not to be struck by the sea of light and colour that meets the eye.
But one day in the future, it all could look a little different. New proposals by the City Of London Corporation could mean that some of London’s skyscrapers could be required to switch off or dim their lights overnight to save energy.
Concerns have arisen over over lights being left on in office buildings that have little or no workers using their service overnight, and see it as an unnecessary drain on energy sources.
This could mean that some of most recognisable skyscrapers that are used for work, such as the Gherkin, may agree to new ‘curfew times’ that mean all external lights must be dimmed or turned off.
In the proposals, the City suggests that three ‘brightness zones’ could be created for new buildings, agreed in planning permissions, with earlier 10pm curfews for residential areas, 11pm for cultural and tourist areas, and 12am for transport and retail hubs.
When it comes to existing buildings, however, this will work a little differently. Skyscrapers would be ‘encouraged’ to adopt the same plans as listed above for new buildings, and sign up to a voluntary ‘Considerate Lighting Charter’ to improve lighting. This would help go towards reaching the City Of London’s Square Mile (the area covering the major finance hub around London) carbon net zero by 2040 goal.
Should these plans go forward, new buildings would agree to a policy that means lights going off, or dimming, earlier, and existing buildings could also agree to these measures.
City Of London Corporation are drawing up these proposals as part of a ‘Lighting Supplementary Planning Document’. This consultation is running until Friday (February 17). You can read about the planning here.