Revamping Public Lighting in Bogotá
Bloomberg Associates worked with the City of Bogotá to modernize public lighting, improve resident safety, and strengthen environmental sustainability.
We worked closely with the Public Works Department to help them select lighting technologies, find funding to pay for the program, and develop a maintenance program to maintain their lights, which were previously left dark when they broke. The results have been tremendous.
Adam Freed, Bloomberg Associates
Over 80 percent of outdoor lights across Bogotá were old, broken or had exceeded their useful life. The city did not have an adequate program in place to repair or replace them, and the system was costly to operate. Lighting in public parks had not been updated or repaired in many years, as there was no city agency responsible for maintaining park lights. As a result, most parks were poorly lit or almost completely dark in the evenings, which posed a formidable public safety issue. Bloomberg Associates worked with Bogotá’s Public Works Department to address this problem.
Bloomberg Associates’ initial scope was to build a financial model for upgrading streetlights to more efficient LED technology. But after digging in, bigger challenges with public lighting were discovered. We worked closely with a senior advisor from Unidad Administrativa Especial de Servicios Públicos (UAESP) and the director of street lighting to reframe their agenda and think more broadly about the opportunity to use lighting to deliver results for residents, particularly in parks. We helped them select lighting technologies, find funding to pay for the program, support implementation, and develop a program to maintain their lights.
During the engagement, we held four workshops with UAESP senior staff, executed a comprehensive cost benefit analysis, and researched leading cities’ lighting technologies.
During the Penalosa administration, Bogota upgraded more than 288,000 street lights – over 80% of the city’s total. The municipal government also relit more than 1,100 parks and installed over 120,000 LED streetlights, making it one of the largest LED projects in Latin America. Almost 20,000 of these lights were upgraded in high-crime areas to improve public safety.