[FOUNTAIN]Night vision in the city

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[FOUNTAIN]Night vision in the city

Those who have seen the French film, "The Lovers on the Bridge," were probably astonished with the night view of the Pont-Neuf Bridge on the River Seine and imagined themselves standing on the bridge. The producers of the movie spent a large sum of money filming this scene. To depict the night "full of love and fascination," they built a set of a bridge with a background of a night view of the river Seine.

Scenes with background shots of splendid nights filled the movie "City of Glass," a Hong Kong-made film that presents the painful history of the city through a couple of lovers. A song from the film score, "Try to Remember," reminds me of the gorgeous night scenery of Victoria Harbor. What is special about these two films is the enormous support the producers received from the cities where the films were made.

Many people are paying attention to which country has the most attractive night scenery. Since a campaign 13 years ago by Michel Noir, the mayor of Lyon, to beautify that city by transforming it with lights, Lyon, which is located 40 kilometers south of Paris, has become a night attraction. After the city installed the lighting, tourism increased and the city's finances became more solid.

Under a plan called "Light up Thames," Britain installed lights along the Thames River and at major museums, buildings and palaces in the 1970s. Cities in Scandinavian countries, where nights are long in the winter, are lighted up at night, creating a fantastic atmosphere with the beauty of nature and historical monuments in the backgrounds. Cities like Sydney and Auckland have installed lighting at modern buildings with creative designs and pay part of the electricity fee. Tokyo and Yokohama are also illuminated at night.

For the World Cup games, Seoul is installing lights at major cultural assets, bridges, parks and fountains. Some say aesthetic lighting that reaches the level of the most industrialized countries, where historical monuments are illuminated in a harmonious way, should be developed. Night illumination is more and more common as urban dwellers become more active at night and cities try to attract more tourists. Cultural activities that tourists and urban citizens can enjoy at night should also be planned.

Lighting equipment designed to consume less electricity can save energy for night illumination.

The government should consider giving discounts on electricity usage at distinctively designed buildings to encourage the use of lights to adorn these structures.

The writer is a JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer.

by Choi Chul-joo

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