SP05: The costs of the loss of the nightAn economic analysis on the consequences of the illuminated night
Subproject 05 is carried out at the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning (ISR) at Berlin University of Technology and at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB).
The project examines the costs of the loss of the night. There are numerous but scattered studies and analyses of specific aspects of the inefficiencies and negative effects of excessive lighting during the night. These focus especially on the resources used for the production of artificial light and the waste of these resources as a result of inefficient systems as well as on various environmental effects of artificial light at night, e.g. on fish, insects, birds and humans' sleep and health. However, a systematic and cumulative approach to specify the economic impacts of artificial lighting at night is lacking so far.
The negative consequences of artificial light at night must – of course – be systematically compared with the positive effects of light (enhancing the freedom of human activity patterns, especially facilitating economic activity at night, but also the positive impacts on image, marketing, security, etc.). Both the costs and benefits of the increase in artificial light at night will be compiled and quantified where possible based on an extensive literature review as well as on expert interviews and workshops. Due to the wide range of issues it addresses, the subproject is collaborating closely with all other subprojects in the network.
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the TU Berlin is in charge of this subproject. Changing societal time-structures and their impact on the economy, society and city have constituted one of the Department's focus areas for many years. Such changes are closely linked to the temporal expansion of economic activity into the night and the trend towards a 24/7 society – the availability of artificial lighting being its essential prerequisite."