Oakhill Village Lighting and Streetscape Improvement Project

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Not everyone experiences public spaces in the same way, especially at night. Council wants to better understand what makes our community feel safe and unsafe, and how the use of light can impact our experiences.

Council is working with Arup Lighting and the Department of Justice and Community Safety to deliver innovative improvements to Oakhill Village, Preston.

What's happened so far?

A project is being undertaken focusing on 621 Plenty Rd Preston and 673 Plenty Rd Reservoir. This area has been identified for improvements from data in the Gender Equality Map and other feedback from residents and traders.

The project will use a new and innovative way of lighting up public space; in a way that prioritises pedestrians and helps women and gender diverse people feel safer at night. Over the last 12 months, Arup Lighting have collaborated with XYX Lab to understand the role that light plays in perceptions of safety at night time. This research has allowed Arup to develop a practical framework to use light to improve perceptions of safety for marginalised people after dark. More info here: https://research.arup.io/story/cities-for-girls. This video will help you to familiarise with some of the ways we can light our cities.

In December 2019, a series of hands-on activities were held which allowed the community and key stakeholders to explore how we can use lighting to improve perception of safety at night. The ideas collected during the consultation activities were used as well as research to design the solution.

Using these ideas, a lighting strategy and concepts were completed. You can view the research and consultation document which explores how both of these aspects have contributed to the concepts for improved lighting. One of the key aspects is layers of lights: ambient, sparkle and community.

Ambient lighting

Creates a general layer of light over an area or surface. Ambient lighting gives a feeling of overall illumination to an area, and is typically used in lighting design as the base layer. Ambient lighting is created by wash-lighting surfaces, or lanterns/pendants. Ambient lighting is important to create an overall glow, however it is important to pair it with another lighting layer to create visual interest.

Accent lighting

Creates the “sparkle”, an area to focus the eye and create visual interest. This layer is used to highlight points within architectural forms, illuminating interesting signage, artwork, reflective surfaces, and any other features that can be made more prominent.

Connecting the community through light is a special feature for this project. Through the installation of lamps within shop windows, turned on during darkness hours, a consistent and continuous feeling will be present along the street.

How will this be achieved?

The lighting improvements will be achieved by installation on privately owned property. The supply of lights and installation is funded by Council. Council has been working with businesses and property owners to make agreements for this work to take place.

What's happening next?

Using feedback from businesses and property owners, the lighting design has been finalised. Planning and tendering of the project is underway. Installation will be scheduled and completed towards the end of 2020.

Project Timeline

  • Engagement workshops - December 2019
  • Concept Design Development - December 2019
  • Engagement with businesses and property owners - January-February 2020
  • Finalising the design - June 2020
  • Commence installation - September 2020




Not everyone experiences public spaces in the same way, especially at night. Council wants to better understand what makes our community feel safe and unsafe, and how the use of light can impact our experiences.

Council is working with Arup Lighting and the Department of Justice and Community Safety to deliver innovative improvements to Oakhill Village, Preston.

What's happened so far?

A project is being undertaken focusing on 621 Plenty Rd Preston and 673 Plenty Rd Reservoir. This area has been identified for improvements from data in the Gender Equality Map and other feedback from residents and traders.

The project will use a new and innovative way of lighting up public space; in a way that prioritises pedestrians and helps women and gender diverse people feel safer at night. Over the last 12 months, Arup Lighting have collaborated with XYX Lab to understand the role that light plays in perceptions of safety at night time. This research has allowed Arup to develop a practical framework to use light to improve perceptions of safety for marginalised people after dark. More info here: https://research.arup.io/story/cities-for-girls. This video will help you to familiarise with some of the ways we can light our cities.

In December 2019, a series of hands-on activities were held which allowed the community and key stakeholders to explore how we can use lighting to improve perception of safety at night. The ideas collected during the consultation activities were used as well as research to design the solution.

Using these ideas, a lighting strategy and concepts were completed. You can view the research and consultation document which explores how both of these aspects have contributed to the concepts for improved lighting. One of the key aspects is layers of lights: ambient, sparkle and community.

Ambient lighting

Creates a general layer of light over an area or surface. Ambient lighting gives a feeling of overall illumination to an area, and is typically used in lighting design as the base layer. Ambient lighting is created by wash-lighting surfaces, or lanterns/pendants. Ambient lighting is important to create an overall glow, however it is important to pair it with another lighting layer to create visual interest.

Accent lighting

Creates the “sparkle”, an area to focus the eye and create visual interest. This layer is used to highlight points within architectural forms, illuminating interesting signage, artwork, reflective surfaces, and any other features that can be made more prominent.

Connecting the community through light is a special feature for this project. Through the installation of lamps within shop windows, turned on during darkness hours, a consistent and continuous feeling will be present along the street.

How will this be achieved?

The lighting improvements will be achieved by installation on privately owned property. The supply of lights and installation is funded by Council. Council has been working with businesses and property owners to make agreements for this work to take place.

What's happening next?

Using feedback from businesses and property owners, the lighting design has been finalised. Planning and tendering of the project is underway. Installation will be scheduled and completed towards the end of 2020.

Project Timeline

  • Engagement workshops - December 2019
  • Concept Design Development - December 2019
  • Engagement with businesses and property owners - January-February 2020
  • Finalising the design - June 2020
  • Commence installation - September 2020