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

  • Period: 2021-03-01 – 2025-02-28
  • Budget: 57,418,463 SEK
  • Funder: EU

Urban lighting & human wellbeing

With a growing population and rising urbanisation globally comes an underestimated by-product: an increase in humans' exposure to electric light. This includes outdoor lighting, the artificial glow of highly-urbanised areas, interior lighting in buildings, and light-emitting screens.

Inapproproate or disruptive light exposure at night and insufficient light exposure during the day can have a significant impact on people's circadian rythm, health and wellbeing. Adults over the age of 65 are particularly vulnerable to these impacts. More knowledge on how to mitigate the negative effects of electric light on people's health is needed.

The ENLIGHTENme project brings together experts from various fields and sectors, such as urban development and health research. The goal is to collect evidence about the effects of indoor and outdoor lighting om human health, especially for adults over the age of 65 and other vulnerable populations. The projects will research, develop, and validate innovative solutions to guide urban lighting policies for better health in European cities.

Using a transdisciplinary approach, ENLIGHTENme will examine the correlations between health, wellbeing, lighting, and socio-economic factors. This will partly be done by a population-based medical trial and qualitative fieldwork in three European cities: Bologna in Italy, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Tartu in Estonia. Drawing experience from various fields, including clinical and biomedical sciences, ethics, urban planning, architecture, data accesibility, interoperability, social sciences and economics.

The project is building an online Urban Lighting and Health Atlas to collect, systematise and present existing data and good practices on urban lighting. Urban Lighting Labs will be established in each ENLIGHTENme city, to enable co-creation and engagement with citizens and city management to assess lighting interventions.

Uppsala University's Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics contribute their expertise and provide legal and ethical guidance for the recruitment of participants in the ENLIGHTENme biomedical trials, identify and assess ethical issues of urban lighting policies with regard to human health (broadly defined) society and environment though a theoretical analysis, and develop legal guidelines and recommendations for the data management of datasets taking into considerations at the same time the strive for open data and GDPR compliance.

Visit the project website

  • Università di Bologna, Italy
  • Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Bologna, Italy
  • Comune di Bologna, Italy
  • Tartu Linn, Estonia
  • Tartu Ulikool, Estonia
  • Gemeente Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Gate 21, Denmark
  • Oengineering SRL, Italy
  • London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
  • Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spain
  • European Research and Project Office GMBH, Germany
  • ICLEI Europasekretariat GMBH, Germany
  • Health City Institute, Italy
  • Association Lighting Urban Community International, France
  • Lighting Research Center, USA
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • University of Surrey, UK
  • Outside In (Cambridge) Ltd, UK
  • Chrono@Work, Netherlands
  • Neri SpA, Italy
  • Fondazione Innovazione Urbana, Italy

People in the project

Project leader: Deborah Mascalzoni
Co-investigators: Deborah Mascalzoni
Further members can be found in the University directory.