By the way

Essays on photopollution

False colour (10-step intensity) light footprint of Montréal

Three research essays on photopollution — and a slide show on the ethics of artificial lighting at night — make up a section on LIMIT.

As a follow-up to a recent blog post on Toronto’s light footprint, these research essays — dry as they may be — help to underscore: a comparative backgrounder; a case for illumination planning; and an analysis on the relationship of photopollution and female labour.

  • Night-as-day in Canada introduces basic concepts related to artificial lighting at night, municipal hydro consumption, and lighting policy in two Canadian cities — Calgary and Montréal. This was completed on assignment at the University of Toronto in March 2009.
  • Illumination planning makes the case for analysis and a framework for municipal-regional planning. This essay defines the holistic importance of why illumination planning should exist discretely and prominently as a speciality of urban planning which works with other disciplines to find the best way to manage lighting solutions. This was completed on assignment at McGill University’s School of Urban Planning in April 2010. A companion PDF slide show on the ethics of light pollution and the necessity for illumination planning as a framework was also presented April 2010.
  • La nuit arrive jamais (“The night never comes”) is a methods-based analysis which examines the correlative relationship, if any, between female labour in the most photopolluted census tracts of Montréal and the outdoor presence of excessive artificial lighting. This paper builds from peer-reviewed research by chronobiologists and pineal gland experts whose findings have suggested a correlative (note: not yet causal) relationship between chronic exposure to excessive artificial lighting at night; some types of labour; and the measurably-increased incidence of certain cancers — including breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, and other possible health hazards more generally. This was completed on assignment at McGill University’s School of Urban Planning in December 2010.

In a later post, I’ll share how and why I was drawn to this obscure area of interest. It all had to do with smoking a cigarette one night whilst marooned at the edge of the planet (fortunately, I neither smoke nor live anywhere near that edge any longer).