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What to do about light pollution? A memorandum has been drafted

27 of July '23
w skrócie
  1. Light pollution is a problem that is often downplayed, but it has a negative impact on people, animals and plants.
  2. "Memorandum on Establishing a Legal Basis for a Sustainable Outdoor Lighting Policy" points to the lack of regulation and the need for responsible design.
  3. Excessive exposure to artificial light disrupts circadian rhythms, which can affect human health.
  4. Appropriate regulations and education on the subject are needed to address the problem.

  5. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal.

Light pollution is a problem that seems inconspicuous and insignificant, in the context of the crises we have been facing for some time. This is a mistake, because the irresponsible design and operation of light sources is taking its toll on us and nature. What can we do about it?

As part of our #ReportThursday series, we present documents, reports and guides on architecture, cities and local government that are certainly worth publicizing and promoting. This week, our attention was drawn to the „Memorandum on Establishing a Legal Basis for a Sustainable Outdoor Lighting Policy,” produced by a multidisciplinary team of experts. The publisher of the memorandum is the Metropolitan Institute as part of the „GOOD LIGHT LAW” project. The document was sponsored by the POLARIS-OPP association.

zanieczyszczenie światłem to wciąż poważny problem

Light pollution is still a serious problem

photo by Dmitry Brant | © Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

unhealthy light?

The problem of light pollution is marginalized in public discourse. We are not aware of the negative impact of outdoor electric lighting on human, animal or plant life.

Excessive exposure to artificial light disrupts the circadian rhythm, which has a bad effect on physiological processes. Disruption of the circadian rhythm, which has been confirmed by studies, co-contributes to the development of autoimmune diseases.

Animals and plants are also negatively affected. Uncontrolled light emissions lead to shrinking animal populations, as well as changes in plant flowering. There are also economic factors, because uncontrolled light emission also means energy costs. In conclusion, outdoor lighting can be designed to be cheaper and healthier for everyone.

Opracowanie graficzne oddziaływania światła autorsta M. Czai

Graphic design of the impact of light by M. Czai

© Good Light Law

lack of regulation

As the report's authors point out, light pollution lacks adequate regulation, technical guidelines and legal qualification. There is also a lack of legal tools for responsible and rational planning of outdoor lighting in space. Action on legislation, as well as appropriate measures, is already being taken by some countries in Europe, as well as by cities as part of their development strategies.

Issues of political and financial will are also constraints, as mentioned in an interview with A&B by Katarzyna Szlachetko, one of the co-authors of the memorandum. A change in the law, the report's authors suggest, should also be followed by the issue of proper education about light pollution issues.

algorytm projektowania oświetlenia zewnętrznego

outdoor lighting design algorithm

© Good Light Law

what is the answer to the problem?

What should be the answer to the problem of light pollution? First of all, lobbying for appropriate regulations, the introduction of which would allow better enforcement of the law and impose obligations on managers.

It is worth highlighting the advantages of a sustainable lighting policy, which can translate into health, environmental and economic values, but also into the aesthetics of the space or the comfort of users. In the era of striving for sustainable development, properly organized and designed lighting should be part of this process.

The memorandum is available on the research program website.

kwestia odpowiedniego zastosowania LED, o zmniejszonej ilości światła niebieskiego, jest istotne dla zdrowia i faz biologiczny

The issue of appropriate use of LEDs, with reduced blue light, is important for health and biological phases

© Good Light Law

developed by Wiktor Bochenek

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