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How will you light up New York City

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New York City's Department of Design and Construction, in partnership with the Department of Transportation, is pleased to announce an international design competition for a new streetlight for the City of New York. The City of New York has provided lighting for the city's streets since 1762. New York City currently maintains over three hundred thousand streetlights within its five boroughs, and is seeking a new streetlight design for the city in the twenty-first century. The city intends to add the new design to the Department of Transportation's Street Lighting Catalogue, continuing a tradition of innovative street lighting begun more than two centuries ago.

The goal of this competition is to select a new streetlight design for the City of New York. The winning design and its variations will be used to light streets, sidewalks, and parks within the city's five boroughs. The design challenge facing the competitors is to create an innovative, state-of-the-art design that responds to the unique diversity of the city's architecture and urban landscape while meeting the technical performance standards for a New York City streetlight.

The City of New York is sponsoring this international design competition as the best means to achieve the following objectives:
Seek out and identify new ideas for public street lighting.
Obtain the flexibility to apply an integrated streetlight design on a block-by-block, street-by-street, or district-by-district basis within the city's five boroughs.
Improve and enhance the New York City streetscape by using the design competition process as a tool for positive change on the urban landscape.
Provide the highest level of design quality for this essential streetscape element while ensuring the security and safety of New York City's residents and visitors.


The City of New York is also interested in the potential of the winning design to become a new street lighting standard for the city. The current city standard, introduced almost fifty years ago, consists of variations of a fabricated steel pole and Cobra Head luminaire. It is the city's most widely used streetlight design. The additional design challenge for the competitors is to create an imaginative, cost-effective, and enduring design with the capability, over time, to become the city's preeminent and most widely used streetlight.

This is a two-stage, international design competition. The competition format asks competitors to submit their concept ideas in Stage I, and for a jury to select three competitors who will receive an honorarium to produce more detailed designs in Stage II. Stage I of the competition is open to the entire design community including architects, artists, engineers, landscape architects, planners, urban designers, lighting designers, product and industrial designers, and manufacturers. Recognizing that the apparent simplicity of a streetlight design belies its technical complexity, the Sponsor encourages multi-disciplinary teams to participate. Stage II competitors will be required to include on their team at least one individual licensed to practice structural engineering in the country or state of their residence.

To register for this competition, submit a completed Registration Form, along with a cashier's or certified check in the amount of $100.00 payable to the NYC Department of Design and Construction. Please mail the completed Registration Form (PDF) and check to:
City Lights Design Competition
c/o Ralph Lerner Architect PC
306 Alexander Street
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
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