Innovative policies for improving citizens’ health and wellbeing addressing indoor and outdoor lighting


A major, albeit underestimated, by-product of urbanization is the exponential increase of human exposure to artificial light. Outdoor illumination, artificial sky glow, domestic lighting, light-emitting screens, etc. entrain circadian clock.

Despite scientific evidences on the pathogenic role of circadian rhythms disruption in predisposing to NCDs, affecting sleep, metabolism, immune function and many aspects of behavior and mood, EU cities are mostly focusing on improving lighting services’ efficiency, reducing costs and emissions, but failing to consider lighting impacts on health and wellbeing.

Through an open-online Urban Lighting and Health Atlas, ENLIGHTENme will collect and systematize existing data and good practices on urban lighting and will perform an accurate study on the correlations among health, wellbeing, lighting and socio-economic factors in 3 pilot cities -Amsterdam, Bologna and Tartu, where a target district will be selected due to its exposure to artificial light and to reflect social inequalities. Through the establishment of Lighting Urban Labs within the district, citizens and stakeholders will co-create innovative Lighting Urban Plans measures and define the implementation of a smart outdoor lighting system and indoor lighting changes in a pilot area within the district. There, a population-based study on elderly – addressed as a vulnerable group particularly prone to suffer circadian misalignment – will allow to assess lighting-dependent risks on mental and health conditions and surveys involving the overall district population and users will allow assess the impacts of urban lighting on quality of life and wellbeing.

The results will allow to develop a dedicated Decision Support System and guidelines and recommendation on the impact of lighting on health and wellbeing, proposing innovative lighting policies, measures, technologies and interventions aiming at improving citizens’ health and wellbeing in cities. ENLIGHTENme is a part of the European Cluster on Urban Health.


Funding programme

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 945238.

Project Timeframe

2021 - 2025




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