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SP04: From lighting to enlightenment?

A socio-political analysis of the situation to reduce light pollution in Berlin-Brandenburg

Subproject 04 is carried out at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS) and at the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning (ISR) at Technische Universität Berlin. It investigates the social and political conditions and potential courses of action to reduce light pollution in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

On the one hand, this requires profound knowledge on the social functions of artificial lighting and respective actor interests and on the other, a detailed study on the existing institutional arrangements.

The stakeholder analysis provides information on how the various actors perceive and assess public lighting differently according to their interests and needs. The focus lies on the questions whether and which problems are associated with artificial lighting and how far stakeholders are willing to reduce light pollution. Research will focus not only on those actors fundamental to the production and functioning of lighting systems (lamp manufacturers, energy suppliers, investors, advertising agencies, urban planners, architects, etc.), but also on critics of light pollution (environmental groups, ecologists, residents, hobby astronomers etc.).

Furthermore, subproject analyses the institutional arrangements related to artificial lighting in public space. This includes an assessment of the regulations and standards, organisations and forms of financing.

In so doing, the research aims to trace common sets of interests and alliances apparent in debates on the subject in the region of Berlin-Brandenburg and to assess how existing institutional arrangements could be adapted to promote action towards more ecological and healthier lighting systems.

SP04 closely cooperates with the historical SP03 and SP05, in which the costs of the loss of the night are evaluated.

Scientist is Katharina Krause and Josiane Meier
Leader of subproject is Dr. Timothy Moss

Within the subprojects TP04 and TP05 a survey among residents was carried out accompanying the retrofit to LED of the public lighting in three study areas. The focus of this study is to look at the public perception of light and darkness and their functions. Furthermore, the retrofitting process is examined.

Scientists are Anja Besecke und Robert Hänsch.