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Introducing Placemaking After Dark

NightSeeing™ aims to transform cities into welcoming, inspiring, inclusive night

Are your planning efforts day-focused? What about the night?

Read on for the Myrtle Beach case study. Scroll down to download the report with photos to learn more.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is planning and designing an Arts and Innovation District. 


Nighttime designer and urban lighting consultant, Leni Schwendinger was commissioned by the Myrtle Beach Downtown Alliance (MBDA) to conduct her NightSeeing™️ methodology to address nighttime and lighting issues and to set objectives for

the future.


Through close collaboration with MBDA, a customized program was delivered. This included a LightWalk, an invited workshop, a stakeholder Q&A, and an open public presentation.


Stakeholders attended Leni’s talk and LightWalk tour where they experienced a fresh perspective on positive

and negatively perceived night spaces, their social

and physical conditions, and lighting atmospheres. The purpose was to provide a qualitative experience with a vision of the future in mind.


Attendees included the Myrtle Beach Mayor, City Council, and City Operations staff. Small business owners and managers participated. Also in attendance were arts and culture representatives such as

Coastal Carolina University. Vocabulary and the language of light were expanded to describe how the after-dusk vitalized district would look and feel.


As a baseline, during the Envisioning Workshop, attendees identified three objectives for the District’s nighttime design. 

  1. Identifiable pathways for walking and bikeways that emphasize connection 

  2. A canvas of light with focal points designed with historic characteristics and innovative features 

  3. Transformable fun spaces that welcome people at night 


An enthusiastic community cohort was created through active learning, collective walking, and workshopping. A launch point has been established for a nighttime masterplan to improve the future Arts & Innovation District in Myrtle Beach.


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