Lighting up the Landmarks with Information About the Environment
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In order to ensure sustainable development of our cities, we all have to do our part. There is a growing awareness about environmental problems, and citizens want to be informed and find the information about the environment relevant for all, not just for those who are making decisions. Many communities want to have a role in making their cities attractive and livable. However, the public cannot always easily perceive the causes of environmental problems-e.g., neighborhood or city-level energy consumption, air and water pollution, or noise levels. Making such information easily accessible and understandable to all is the challenge this paper addresses. This paper argues for the use of public buildings and local landmarks as a means for communicating information about the quality of the environment by employing their existing illumination systems as a medium for transferring and disseminating the respective information. Instead of using one color or randomly changing colors (as is a cas...e employed on many public buildings nowadays), the proposal this paper advocates for is to connect the light color to the corresponding environmental parameter, and, in this way, convey the information. For instance, if CO2 is taken as a relevant parameter, when the emissions go above a certain level, the building could glow red. The intensity of color or a choice of color corresponds to the parameter that is measured. This is an informative, non-invasive, simple, and inexpensive solution that can help in raising awareness about the environmental problems and, at the same time, make the public informed. The information presented in this way is easy to understand, it is visible to a large number of people and " glanceable". Furthermore, it could support the involvement of a community in coping with the environmental issues by spurring a bottom-up action and making the community one step closer to the ideal of making their cities sustainable and resilient. The approach in developing this system is embodied in the concept of smart cities. It is also viewed as a contribution to smart solutions and the use of technology in a smart way, as well as a way that contributes to the public good. In addition to presenting and justifying this proposal that is based on several parameters of sustainability, the paper will also discuss the potential benefits of the system for raising the public awareness, and will reflect on the relationship between community involvement and urban planning.
Keywords:Environment / Glanceable information / Illumination / Landmarks / Pro-environmental behavior
Source:Smart and sustainable planning for cities and regions: results of SSPCR 2015, 2017, 69-81
- Springer International Publishing