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The Night and Its Loss

Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND,volume 15)

Abstract

Artificial lighting is both a precondition and a consequence of the 24-hour society. It makes public spaces safer, allows a range of economic and social activities at night and influences the way goods production and services, buildings and entire cities are organised. Despite these achievements, from early on, critical voices have drawn attention to the negative impact of artificial lighting on humans, animals, cityscapes, landscapes and energy consumption. This has recently culminated in growing criticism of ‘light pollution’. This chapter investigates from a socioeconomic perspective the economic and social functions of artificial light, on the one hand, and the ‘loss of the night’, on the other, and outlines a preliminary taxonomy of relevant positive and negative effects of nocturnal artificial light. It is part of a joint research project on the ‘loss of the night’, which aims to develop new concepts of lighting to reduce light pollution.

Keywords

  • Night
  • Artificial lighting
  • 24-hour society
  • Costs
  • Benefits
  • Value of the night

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Acknowledgment

The authors will gladly provide in-depth information and an account of the progress of the research project. Alternatively, the website www.VerlustderNacht.de provides additional information.

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Correspondence to Merle Pottharst .

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Pottharst, M., Könecke, B. (2013). The Night and Its Loss. In: Henckel, D., Thomaier, S., Könecke, B., Zedda, R., Stabilini, S. (eds) Space–Time Design of the Public City. Urban and Landscape Perspectives, vol 15. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6425-5_3

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