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NightSeeing™ aims to transform cities into welcoming, inspiring, inclusive places...at 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.

Introducing placemaking after dark

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.

Download the Report

Photos: Keith Jacobs

Districts undergoing improvements often neglect 50% of the 24-hour day. The hours between dusk and dawn can be a concern – for safety, lack of activity (dead zones) or too much activity (bars and late-night noise). We work with stakeholders to solve these challenges. 


NightSeeing™, Navigate Your Luminous City, is a staged program in one, two or three parts

  • Walking: raise awareness and elevate the vocabulary of light, 
  • Workshopping: build consensus for future nighttime objectives 
  • Strategizing: develop an action plan to implement local night and light projects


Download the Program Guide

Who benefits?

Architecture/Engineer/Construction Industry

  • Architects and Planners
  • Landscape Architects
  • Urban Designers
  • Lighting Designers 


  • Department of Transportation and Public Works
  • Department of Planning 
  • Department of Sustainability
  • Tourist Board 

Business Improvement Districts

Do you seek creative solutions for community engagement? Check in with Leni
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© Leni Schwendinger 2023