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Gazing Up: An Exploration of Municipal Night Lighting Practices Amongst Six Canadian Municipalities

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Title: Gazing Up: An Exploration of Municipal Night Lighting Practices Amongst Six Canadian Municipalities
Author: Semeniuk, Kent
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Perkins, Nathan
Abstract: Light pollution is broadly defined as the unnecessary illumination of the nocturnal environment. Light pollution is a pervasive phenomena shown to have harmful consequences for both the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. While some municipalities have begun to address the environmental and economic costs of light pollution, most have not. The goal of this study was to investigate current municipal night lighting practices for six selected Canadian municipalities with the aim of determining their policies and practices for night lighting. Semi-structured interviews with key informants were conducted and analyzed using a mixed methods approach that included a thorough literature review. The results indicate that rising energy costs, aging infrastructure and the lighting industry are driving the majority of changes taking place in adapting municipalities while most municipalities remain content with status quo. The research conducted led to guideline improvements for municipal night lighting in today’s municipalities.
Date: 2014-05
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