News

21 July 2021

Call to contribute to international conference on "Shaping Light for Health and Wellbeing in Cities"

This December, a virtual international conference will explore the relationship between urban lighting and urban dwellers' health and wellbeing. The event will bring together representatives from academia, industry and local administrations across Europe for two days of discussions that explore the latest findings on the relationships between urban lighting and health and wellbeing. Researchers are invited to contribute to this exciting exchange by submitting an extended abstract. This call is open until 4 October.

Growing urbanisation around the world has led to an exponential increase of human exposure to electric light at night. This includes public outdoor illumination, 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. Disruptive light exposure profoundly affects people’s health and wellbeing, altering natural, biological day/night rhythms. These effects cannot be overlooked, especially as they disproportionately impact vulnerable populations like older adults.

Light also shapes urban spaces and social life, thus influencing people’s behaviour, moods, and senses of security, as well as social relationships. Urban lighting can ease or hamper socialisation and participation in civic life.

Although public awareness of light-related health and wellbeing issues is increasing, there is still a lack of understanding of health impacts from urban lighting, and how these imapacts are shaped by social inequalities that determine the kinds and amounts of light people are exposed to.

“The international Conference 'Shaping light for health and wellbeing in cities' will provide an excellent international forum for sharing knowledge and results on theory, methodology and applications about the multifaceted consequences light has on health and wellbeing in cities.” explains Prof. Simona Tondelli of the Department of Architecture at the Alma Mater Studiorum – Università Di Bologna. “The aim of the conference is to provide a platform to researchers and practitioners from academia, local administration as well as industry to meet and share cutting-edge developments in the field.”

This December's virtual, two-day event will explore these issues.

Researchers are invited to join the discussion by contributing case studies, reviews, or technical papers related to any of six themes, each of which will be explored in one conference session:

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

In addition to presenting their research at the conference and being published in the conference proceedings, a selection of researchers will also have the opportunity to have a full article published in a Special Issue in the “Health and Sustainability” section of the Open Access journal Sustainability.

The period for submitting extended abstracts ends on 4 October 2021. Further details on the topics, as well as how to register and submit contributions, can be found on the conference website: enlightenme-project-conference.com.

This event and the call for contributions is being organised by the ENLIGHTENme project, in which ICLEI Europe is a partner, and which is coordinated by Prof. Simona Tondelli (quoted above). By bringing together experts from different scientific fields and sectors – such as urban development and health research – ENLIGHTENme aims to collect evidence about the impact outdoor and indoor lighting has on human health, especially among elderly people who are known to be particularly prone to suffering circadian misalignment. Moreover, ENLIGHTENme sets out to develop and test innovative solutions and policies that will offset health inequalities in European cities.

For more information, visit enlightenme-project.eu/.