Light, multifunctionality and design

For a city worth living in. And much more.

Our cities are becoming more crowded – just as our requirements are becoming more rigorous and more diverse. Therefore, the resulting needs are increasingly being focused on in urban planning. The challenge: to reconcile the variety of concerns with the most diverse aspects, such as mobility, for example. Nature. The consideration of any historical heritage, not least taking into account political demands and specifications.

What makes a city worth living in? What does a city look like in which people feel comfortable, in which they are happy to see each other and in which all of these needs are perceived? In the last issue of our Lightletter, we already discussed the importance of light:

In urban spaces, lighting has a multifaceted meaning: It provides orientation and security. It also serves to set the scene and accentuate, provides communication and identity. That is a lot, but not everything: At Hess, not all lighting is created equal – our lighting is not just light.

We understand lighting as an intelligent medium for creation, interaction and supply. Hess luminaires transform the cities and urban spaces of today into the smart places of tomorrow.

Light – Multifunctionality – Design. Our understanding of a city worth living in is based on these three core concepts.

One of the most well-known urban planners, Jan Gehl from Denmark, postulates the thesis that a city worth living in can be recognized in particular by the extent of ist environmental awareness. In our society, this awareness is in the foreground in a way it never has been before.

For one thing, nature offers us the ultimate space for rest and relaxation. At a time when “work-life balance” is no longer just a modern concept, but is increasingly finding ist way into corporate philosophies, urban green spaces and waters bodies fulfil important functions as recreational zones and nature that can be experienced by people.

They are places of relaxation, “becoming grounded” and for spending time. That is also reflected in our urban planning concepts, that increasingly focus on this circumstance.

Political efforts to increase environmental awareness have by now reached all the city stakeholders – regardless of the size of a municipality. The goal is to raise consciousness of environmentally friendly behaviour and to incorporate corresponding goals in urban planning.

A further increasingly important issue – not only for environmental awareness – is e-mobility. According to the McKinsey Electric Vehicle Index (May 2022), Europe has taken the leading position on the world market for electric vehicles with a 20% share of newly sold vehicles.

Overall, worldwide sales doubled from 2021 to 2022. To keep pace with this increase, in terms of infrastructure, 10,000 charging stations would have to be installed in Europe alone – every week!

Here too, multifunctional lighting systems show what they can do: They are key for cities with environmental awareness. For example through sensors for measuring emissions, linked to intelligent control systems and sensors or, as charging units for electric vehicles:

Our luminaires – whether from Hess or Vulkan – can be “environmentally concious”.

In addition, there are still many other factors that make up a city worth living in. For all residents. We humans, for example have the need for security through night-time illumination. Insects however, prefer little to no light. For this reason – at least in especially sensitive areas – needs-based, intelligent lighting controls and very warm light colours, such as our new light colour Amber (1800 K) are gaining in importance.

The need for holistic lighting concepts, that are powerful as well as environmentally friendly and can be perfectly integrated into any space, is greater than ever. Professional lighting design and smart, multifunctional or technically reduced, efficient luminaires significantly contribute to solving the various requirements and to a city worth living in.


In this issue, we present a few projects in which light, multifunctionality and design have played an important role in the context of a city or urban space worth living in.

Main thoroughfare


Like in Baiersbronn in Baden-Württemberg, where a completely new design of the main thoroughfare was implemented as part of a comprehensive redesign, to significantly increase the attractiveness for traffic on the one hand and an inviting atmosphere for people on the other.




Or the marketplace in Zella Mehlis in Thuringia (image above), which fulfils many functions after its redesign and thus more than meets the multifunctional demands of a modern place. Security, communication and the supply of e-mobility there are in harmony with a uniform townscape. In both projects, there was enough room for green spaces and recreational areas.



Also in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bamberg, a roundabout was illuminated in a special way. Also with light and best design.

Made by Hess