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Author (up) van Osch, T.H.J. url  openurl
  Title Intelligent dynamic road lighting and perceived personal safety of pedestrians Type Journal Article
  Year 2010 Publication Eindhoven University of Technology Masters Thesis. Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume Issue Pages  
  Keywords Perception  
  Abstract The function of road lighting is to prevent crime, provide a sense of perceived

personal safety, as well as the ability to successfully orientate and navigate urban

environments at night. However more and more people realize the negative effects of

abundant street lighting, such as light pollution and energy consumption. In 2001, 63 per cent

of the world population was confronted with night skies brighter than the threshold set for

light pollution by the International Astronomical Union (Chepesiuk, 2009). Exposure to light

pollution over longer periods of time can have lasting negative effects on the health of both

human and wildlife. A second motive for reducing abundant road lighting is sustainable

energy usage. The total energy consumption of public lighting in the Netherlands is currently

estimated to be 600.000 to 700.000 MWh a year, of which about 500.000 MWh is used for

the lighting of infrastructure such as roads, bicycle trials and footpaths (SenterNovem, 2009).

Reducing energy consumption and light pollution by road lighting can be realized using

intelligent dynamic road lighting systems with LED technology. Such intelligent dynamic

road lighting systems can offer light only when and where it is most needed, thereby

preventing light pollution and energy waste. However, such dynamic lighting should not

negatively affect a pedestrian’s perceived personal safety, because fear of crime often elicits a

stress reaction, to avoid, to reduce, or to cope with a threatening situation (Riger, 1985).

Therefore the addressed research question in this report is “What is the influence of different

dynamic road lighting scenarios on perceived personal safety” In particular, where would

pedestrian’s benefit from light the most e.g. at their own location or in their direct


To answer this research question a field study is performed using testbed “de Zaale”

on the campus of the Eindhoven University of Technology. “De Zaale” is normal street

setting equipped with intelligent dynamic road lighting containing twelve lampposts over a

range of 350 metres. A three condition (three different light distributions: darkspot, spotlight,

and a control condition) within-subject experiment was conducted with perceived personal

safety as the dependent variable. These three light scenarios are designed to have opposing

light distributions at the location of the pedestrian, with an equally amount of illumination.

To explain differences measured in perceived personal safety Appleton’s prospect and refuge

theory is used complemented with a social psychological model by van der Wurff and

colleagues (van der Wurff, Staalduinen & Stringer, 1989; Appleton, 1975). The dependant

variable perceived personal safety and the independent variables prospect, concealment,

exposure, escape, attractiveness and power are measured using an equidistant 5-point

answering scale questionnaire.

Considering the results the present study demonstrates that the manner in which light

is distributed across the poles in an intelligent dynamic road lighting setup influences the

perceived personal safety of pedestrians at night. We have shown in an experimental field

study that light has an effect on the proximal cues prospect, exposure, concealment and

escape. Prospect is indicated to be the most important proximal cue influencing a pedestrians

perceived personal safety. The relatively highest level of perceived personal safety is

experienced when a pedestrian’s personal and action space are sufficiently illuminated.

Illuminating these areas increases prospect, exposure an escape, and decreases concealment.

Additional illumination in a pedestrian’s vista space does not necessarily contribute to the

increase of their perceived personal safety. Furthermore individual differences between

pedestrians such as gender and attractiveness can enhance the negative effect of poorillumination on perceived personal safety. This knowledge should be integrated in the future

design of an intelligent dynamic road lighting system in order to maximise the personal safety

of pedestrians using such a system at night.
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number LoNNe @ christopher.kyba @ Serial 451  
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