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An Approach to Evaluating Light Pollution in Residential Zones: A Case Study of Beijing

by Xueting Jin 1,2,3, Yu Li 1,2, Jinzhou Zhang 3, Ji Zheng 1 and Huiping Liu 3,*
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China
School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
School of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 652;
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 14 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
Outdoor lighting is becoming increasingly widespread, and residents are suffering from serious light pollution as a result. Residents’ awareness of their rights to protection has gradually increased. However, due to the sometimes-inaccessible nature of residential vertical light incidence intensity data and the high cost of obtaining specific measurements, there is no appropriate hierarchic compensation for residents suffering from different degrees of light pollution. It is therefore important to measure light pollution levels and their damage at the neighborhood scale to provide residents with basic materials for proper protection and to create more politically-suitable solutions. This article presents a light pollution assessment method that is easy to perform, is low-cost and has a short data-processing cycle. This method can be used to monitor residential zone light pollution in other cities. We chose three open areas to test the spatial variation pattern of light intensity. The results are in accordance with spatial interpolation patterns and can be fit, with high precision, using the inverse distance weighted interpolation (IDW) method. This approach can also be used in three dimensions to quantitatively evaluate the distribution of light intensity. We use a mixed-use zone in Beijing known as The Place as our case study area. The vertical illumination at the windows of residential buildings ranges from 2 lux to 23 lux; the illumination in some areas is far higher than the value recommended by CIE. Such severe light pollution can seriously interfere with people's daily lives and has a serious influence on their rest and health. The results of this survey will serve as an important database to assess whether the planning of night-time lighting is scientific, and it will help protect the rights of residents and establish distinguished compensation mechanisms for light pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: light pollution; monitoring approach; spatial distribution; residential zone; Beijing light pollution; monitoring approach; spatial distribution; residential zone; Beijing
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Jin, X.; Li, Y.; Zhang, J.; Zheng, J.; Liu, H. An Approach to Evaluating Light Pollution in Residential Zones: A Case Study of Beijing. Sustainability 2017, 9, 652.

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