Webinar: Responsible Lighting at Night: Bridging the Inequality Gap

LDS DLC Logo 2022

February 16, 2022

Compared to their affluent counterparts, underserved communities, often communities of color, are subject to a variety of poor lighting conditions including being under lit or chronically over lit, with the inaccurate idea that brightly lit spaces are safer. The health and well-being of the people living in these spaces are at risk due to the various impacts of poor light quality, further perpetuating systemic and racial inequities. Obtrusive light can be alleviated by identifying how these communities are lit, using a holistic design approach that requires prioritization of the needs of the community and allocation of investments in those spaces. This webinar examines the societal and professional misconceptions, safety and health implications of poor quality light at night on marginalized communities, and how investments in well designed, responsible light can meet all of these needs.

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Download the webinar slides HERE

See below for links to the scholarly articles that were referenced during the webinar:

Reducing Crime Through Environmental Design: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment Of Street Lighting In New York City

The Value of Darkness: A Moral Framework for Urban Nighttime Lighting

Light Pollution Inequities in the Continental United States: A Distributive Environmental Justice Analysis

Dark Matters

Key Takeaways:

  • Summarize the ways that lighting choices affect the mental health, well-being, and safety of occupants in poor lighting conditions
  • Identify the systemic choices that have led to underserved communities lack of good lighting
  • Confront the ways that light has been used in systems of racism and oppression
  • Describe the ways that light intersects with life

The Moderator:

Lauren Dandridge, LC, IES, Principal, Chromatic and Adjunct Assistant Professor, USC

Lauren Dandridge is a 17 year veteran in the lighting industry with a portfolio of award winning projects across the country. She is principal of Chromatic, a lighting design firm that promotes lighting quality and equality for all communities while pursuing intelligent and beautiful design. Lauren is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California where she teaches Architectural Lighting Design. Her students have gone on to successful lighting careers in prominent lighting design firms across the country. She is a board member of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, an associate member of NOMA, member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and regularly provides lighting lectures for local design schools and CEU presentations for architectural firms.

The Panelists:

Don Slater, Associate Professor, London School of Economics and Co-director, Configuring Light/Staging the Social

Don Slater is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Sociology at the London School of Economics, and co-director of the Configuring Light/Staging the Social research group. His current research focuses on light and lighting as core elements of urban fabric, and aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between social research, lighting design and urban planning, particularly in public realm space and infrastructure. Prior to this, he worked for many years on information technology, media and digital culture in development contexts, including the South Asia, West Africa and Latin America, with projects for UNESCO and DFID (publications included New Media, Development and Globalization, Polity 2013; and The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach, Berg, 2001, with Daniel Miller). Other publications include The Technological Economy (Routledge, 2005, with Andrew Barry); Consumer Culture and Modernity (Polity, 1998); and Market Society (Polity 2002, with Fran Tonkiss).

Robert W. Williams, Associate Professor, Bennett College

Robert Williams is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. His studies center on political theory, especially modern, contemporary, and critical theories. Most recently, he has concentrated  on environmental justice, the spatiality of politics (and the spatiality of the night), as well as the cyber-politics of the Internet. Robert has written many academic publications on night including his contribution, “Night Spaces,” in E. Ray Hutchison (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Urban Studies, Vol. 2.

R. Joshua Scannell, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, The New School

Josh Scannell is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Theory at The New School’s School of Media Studies. Prior to joining The New School, he taught sociology and women, gender, and sexuality studies at Hunter College, and Queens College, CUNY, and in the Media Culture and Communication department at NYU Steinhardt. He is interested in understanding how changing digital technologies transform the relationship between the body and its environment, and how this relates to race- and gender-based political and economic exploitation of various populations. His recent work triangulates media theory – particularly concerning “new” media and digital technologies, scholarship in the Black Radical Tradition, and contemporary philosophical movements like New Materialist Feminism and Speculative Realism – to make sense of how the ubiquity of digitally-driven surveillance and prediction technologies transform the carceral state’s racial-sexual-labor structures of expropriation and management into technocratic “best practice” for governance of self and others.

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