In November and December last year, more than 2500 Polotsk residents answered to the questions of a survey about the city’s street lighting, and last week, the results were counted. According to the study, Polotsk has quite good street lamps in its central part, but its other districts are not viewed as well lit. The survey was conducted thanks to the project PubLiCity that should result in a modernized lighting system for Polotsk. Interakcia Foundation and Polotsk’s government have been implementing the project since fall 2015; the funding is provided by the European Union.
More than 50% of the respondents are satisfied with how the street lamps work in the downtown area, but they would like to see improvements in other districts of the city. Not surprisingly, this is especially true for those Polotsk residents who do not live in the city center (more than 80% of those who participated in the survey). Over half of such respondents think that street lighting in their parts of the city must become better.
At the same time, 32% of the survey participants have not expressed any criticism of the city’s street lamps; however, 45% of the respondents in this group live exactly in the central part of Polotsk.
The first graph describes the overall satisfaction with the street lighting in Poltsk;
the second graph describes the respondents' satisfaction with the quality of lighting in their particular streets
According to the study, lighting for inner areas between buildings, light brightness, broken street lamps and belated repairs, lack of street lamps in some areas, as well as insufficient lighting at some crossroads, crossings, and public transport stops are the those issues that the local government should address in the first place.
The project PubLiCity, which provided a framework for the survey, is expected to end by 2019. By that time, Polotsk’s central streets should receive new energy efficient lighting, while some historical buildings and monuments will be lit up in new, more economical ways. These improvements will enable Polotsk to save more than 1600 MWh (15% of the current total amount) annually, and consequently, cut CO2 emissions thanks to the reduced energy consumption by more than 750 tons.
Also, the results of the survey should help to evaluate the effectiveness of the entire project, especially given the fact that a new study about the same issues is planned to be conducted in 2018-2019. Moreover, the survey has provided Polotsk’s government with a better vision of how to deal with the lighting problems: the officials have learned where to relocate better quality street lamps from the downtown area, which will receive new modernized lighting thanks to PubLiCity.
The survey almost coincided in time with an energy efficiency audit of Polotsk’s 40 main streets and avenues. A team of experts from Polotsk State University studied the equipment used for lighting in these areas, aiming to detect any unnecessary energy losses and possible solutions for dealing with them.
The team concluded that introduction of energy efficient technologies in the audited streets and avenues can reduce the today’s amount of electricity used there by 60%. The project PubLiCity should significantly contribute to reaching this indicator.