Shaping Light for Health and Wellbeing in Cities

Growing urbanisation around the world has led to an exponential increase of human exposure to electric light at night. This includes public outdoor illumination and the artificial sky glow created by highly urbanised areas as well as exposure to light at the individual level through domestic lighting and light-emitting screens. The consequences of inappropriate and disruptive light exposure profoundly affect people’s health and wellbeing, altering the natural internal biological day/night rhythm. These effects cannot be overlooked, especially when they affect vulnerable populations like older adults who suffer disproportionately. Light also shapes urban spaces and social life, thus influencing people’s behaviour, moods, and sense of security, as well as social relationships, easing or hampering socialisation and participation in civic life. Although public awareness of light-related health and wellbeing issues is increasing, there is less understanding of how health impacts derived from urban lighting are mediated by social inequalities present in cities that may determine the kind and amount of light that citizens are exposed to.

Therefore, the ENLIGHTENme consortium, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, has scheduled a two-day event to explore these issues and calls for contributions from participants (case studies, reviews or technical papers) for the six thematic sessions:

• Session 1: Geo-intelligence and urban analytics for urban wellbeing
• Session 2: Social lighting and lighting technology for urban wellbeing
• Session 3: Co-design and community engagement
• Session 4: The interplay of genes and environment for health, wellbeing, and circadian rhythm
• Session 5: Innovative urban lighting policies
• Session 6: Legal and ethical aspects of urban lighting and related health studies

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