Smart street lighting co-created with residents in IRIS Utrecht district Kanaleneiland-Zuid

How do you make an urban district more sustainable and safer? The Municipality of Utrecht starts a new pilot project, Smart Street Lighting Utrecht, Kanaleneiland-Zuid district. From June 2021, pedestrians can use a new crossing that lights up when you want to cross the road and a car approaches.

It is a unique idea, inspired by residents and developed and realized together with the Municipality of Utrecht. This pilot project is part of the European project IRIS Smart Cities, that works towards urban districts of the future in European cities. The Municipality is also testing 50 smart light poles in the district as part of tests with sustainable lighting and monitoring air quality.

The power of together

Residents of the urban district Kanaleneiland-Zuid made different designs for new smart street lighting for the Columbuslaan, nearby the Da Costa elementary school in the district. Afterwards, residents chose one design that would contribute to traffic safety in the district. The winning concept, the luminescent pedestrian crossing, was further developed and realized by the municipality of Utrecht at the beginning of June 2021. The Municipality greatly values working together with residents. Involving residents in the design process results in solutions that more closely reflect their wishes and therefore are much more likely to be embraced by residents. With the pilot project Smart Street Lighting Utrecht, the Municipality gains experience with a luminescent pedestrian crossing for the first time. This project will be evaluated in a few months, by asking pedestrians and passing traffic for their experiences with the pedestrian crossing.

Luminescent pedestrian crossing

The luminescent pedestrian crossing was installed last month, together with two smart poles. The pedestrian crossing lights up to warn upcoming traffic that pedestrians are waiting to cross the road. The poles, which are entirely solar powered, register particulates, sound, speed and movement. Depending on the speed of upcoming traffic, the poles color blue or orange. The particulates meter situated in these solar poles measures the air quality. This way the air quality can be monitored at any time and under different circumstances therefore a lot is learnt. Also 50 lampposts are equipped with new LED-lighting and sensors that automatically report a broken lamp or whether the light pole is askew, improving maintenance of these light poles.

Would you like to see how this extraordinary pedestrian crossing and the smart poles work and how they were established? Involved parties explain in a short film how it works and residents share their experiences.


Watch the film here:


IRIS project in Kanaleneiland

The pilot project Smart Street Lighting in Kanaleneiland was developed together with CityTec, Luminext, POL Verkeersveiligheid, Nedal Aluminium, Innolumis en FlexSol Solutions. This is part of the IRIS Smart Cities project, aiming to realize as many smart and sustainable urban districts as possible. The city of Utrecht is committed to become one of the frontrunners in combining sustainable energy and electric mobility in the city in an accelerated way. More information on developments and activities in Utrecht can be found on the website (in Dutch).

15 Jul 2021

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