With a growing world population and rising urbanisation comes an underestimated by-product: more human exposure to electric light. This includes public outdoor lighting and the artificial glow created by highly urbanised areas, but also light exposure at the individual level from interior lighting in buildings and light-emitting screens. Inappropriate and disruptive light exposure at night, or too little light exposure during the day, profoundly affects people’s biological clock, health and wellbeing. Older adults over 65 years of age are particularly prone to these impacts. Knowledge about the role lighting has on people’s health and new responsive guidance for urban lighting strategies have the potential to substantially mitigate any possible impacts. Particular attention will also be placed on linking the socio-economic dimension of lighting with urban lighting patterns, population health status and wellbeing indicators in order to understand how resulting health inequalities and high levels of light exposure impact on citizen’s physical and mental wellbeing.
ENLIGHTENme brings together experts from different scientific fields and sectors, such as urban development and health research for four years to collect evidence about indoor and outdoor lighting impacts on human health and wellbeing – particularly for people over the age of 65 and other vulnerable groups. The project aims to research, develop and validate innovative solutions to support innovative urban lighting policies and guidance for better health in cities throughout Europe.
“ENLIGHTENme will not only improve the health of citizens in urban areas on an individual level, it will also provide the evidence needed for policy making on improved urban health on a political level. Equally important is also the reduction of health inequalities through the inclusion of citizens normally not involved in the drafting of urban lighting plans. ”Prof. Simona TondelliProfessor at the Department of Architecture at the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università Di Bologna
Coordinator of the ENLIGHTENme consortium