Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Light Pollution Related Abstracts

2 The 2017 Summer Campaign for Night Sky Brightness Measurements on the Tuscan Coast

Authors: Andrea Giacomelli, Luciano Massetti, Elena Maggi, Antonio Raschi

Abstract:

The presentation will report the activities managed during the Summer of 2017 by a team composed by staff from a University Department, a National Research Council Institute, and an outreach NGO, collecting measurements of night sky brightness and other information on artificial lighting, in order to characterize light pollution issues on portions of the Tuscan coast, in Central Italy. These activities combine measurements collected by the principal scientists, citizen science observations led by students, and outreach events targeting a broad audience. This campaign aggregates the efforts of three actors: the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, which started collecting light pollution data on a national scale in 2008 with an environmental engineering and free/open source GIS core team; the Institute of Biometeorology from the National Research Council, with ongoing studies on light and urban vegetation and a consolidated track record in environmental education and citizen science; the Department of Biology from the University of Pisa, which started experiments to assess the impact of light pollution in coastal environments in 2015. While the core of the activities concerns in situ data, the campaign will account also for remote sensing data, thus considering heterogeneous data sources. The aim of the campaign is twofold: (1) To test actions of citizen and student engagement in monitoring sky brightness (2) To collect night sky brightness data and test a protocol for applications to studies on the ecological impact of light pollution, with a special focus on marine coastal ecosystems. The collaboration of an interdisciplinary team in the study of artificial lighting issues is not a common case in Italy, and the possibility of undertaking the campaign in Tuscany has the added value of operating in one of the territories where it is possible to observe both sites with extremely high lighting levels, and areas with extremely low light pollution, especially in the Southern part of the region. Combining environmental monitoring and communication actions in the context of the campaign, this effort will contribute to the promotion of night skies with a good quality as an important asset for the sustainability of coastal ecosystems, as well as to increase citizen awareness through star gazing, night photography and actively participating in field campaign measurements.

Keywords: Environmental education, Citizen Science, Light Pollution, marine coastal biodiversity

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1 An Interactive User-Oriented Approach to Optimizing Public Space Lighting

Authors: Tamar Trop, Boris Portnov

Abstract:

Public Space Lighting (PSL) of outdoor urban areas promotes comfort, defines spaces and neighborhood identities, enhances perceived safety and security, and contributes to residential satisfaction and wellbeing. However, if excessive or misdirected, PSL leads to unnecessary energy waste and increased greenhouse gas emissions, poses a non-negligible threat to the nocturnal environment, and may become a potential health hazard. At present, PSL is designed according to international, regional, and national standards, which consolidate best practice. Yet, knowledge regarding the optimal light characteristics needed for creating a perception of personal comfort and safety in densely populated residential areas, and the factors associated with this perception, is still scarce. The presented study suggests a paradigm shift in designing PSL towards a user-centered approach, which incorporates pedestrians' perspectives into the process. The study is an ongoing joint research project between China and Israel Ministries of Science and Technology. Its main objectives are to reveal inhabitants' perceptions of and preferences for PSL in different densely populated neighborhoods in China and Israel, and to develop a model that links instrumentally measured parameters of PSL (e.g., intensity, spectra and glare) with its perceived comfort and quality, while controlling for three groups of attributes: locational, temporal, and individual. To investigate measured and perceived PSL, the study employed various research methods and data collection tools, developed a location-based mobile application, and used multiple data sources, such as satellite multi-spectral night-time light imagery, census statistics, and detailed planning schemes. One of the study’s preliminary findings is that higher sense of safety in the investigated neighborhoods is not associated with higher levels of light intensity. This implies potential for energy saving in brightly illuminated residential areas. Study findings might contribute to the design of a smart and adaptive PSL strategy that enhances pedestrians’ perceived safety and comfort while reducing light pollution and energy consumption.

Keywords: Energy Efficiency, Light Pollution, public space lighting, PSL, safety perceptions

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