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van Osch, T. H. J. (2010). Intelligent dynamic road lighting and perceived personal safety of pedestrians. Eindhoven University of Technology Masters Thesis., .
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 pedestrianâs 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 âWhat is the influence of different
dynamic road lighting scenarios on perceived personal safetyâ In particular, where would
pedestrianâs 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 âde Zaaleâ
on the campus of the Eindhoven University of Technology. âDe Zaaleâ 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 Appletonâs 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 pedestrianâs personal and action space are sufficiently illuminated.
Illuminating these areas increases prospect, exposure an escape, and decreases concealment.
Additional illumination in a pedestrianâs 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.
Marchant, P. R. (2006). Investigating whether a crime reduction measure works. Radical Statistics, 91.
Abstract: Crime is a serious business. It causes great distress and fear. It costs a lot
to deal with its consequences. In these regards crime shares much with
the problem of ill-health and disease. The application of sound science and
statistics has allowed great strides to be made in dealing with problems of
ill health. Medical statistics is one of the recognised, established
disciplines involved in researching healthcare.
The parallels between research in crime reduction and in healthcare do
appear to differ in terms of quality. Although there is still room for
considerable improvement in researching health-care, an investigation
into the underpinning of statistical methods used indicates that the
problems are substantially worse in the study of crime. The consideration
given to statistics in crime studies seems rather flimsy, yet important
claims are made which are statistical at source and may affect policy, and
so can have considerable costs attached. Therefore, for example, it is
important to know whether the underlying crime level has really changed,
rather than just being the result of perhaps sampling variation or some
artefact giving rise to statistical bias or systematic error. This is necessary
when trying to determine whether a Crime Reduction Intervention (CRI)
has actually worked.
I started examining the scientific basis of the claim for the effectiveness for
one particular CRI, basically because I was concerned about negative side
effects and I thought the claim implausible. I remain concerned and
unconvinced. The statistical issues and concerns I raise apply also to
investigating other CRIs and to existing published analyses.
This piece extends work presented in Marchant (2006); earlier work on the
statistical issues involved can be found in Marchant (2005a, b; 2004).
Morrow, E. N., & Hutton, S. A. (2000). The Chicago Alley Lighting Project: Final Evaluation Report. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, .
Abstract: Begun in October of 1998, the first part of the plan sought to upgrade and improve the city's 175,000 streetlights, which illuminate the arterial and residential streets. The second part of the plan involved repairing and upgrading the lighting in and around viaducts and Chicago Transit Authority stations. The final part of the plan has been to boost lighting levels in alleys across the city as a tool for public safety and fighting crime. In the past, 90-watt lights illuminated most city alleys; alley lighting levels have been increased by installing new fixtures that can accommodate 250-watt bulbs. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority undertook an evaluation to assess the impact of increased alley lighting on crime rates in two eight-square-block areas, with emphasis on crimes that were most likely to have occurred in alleys. The evaluation first examined change in the experimental area that received increased alley lighting over a 1-year period prior to increased alley lighting and a 1-year period thereafter. Next, change over a 6-month period before and after increased alley lighting was examined for both the experimental area and the control area. The evaluation found that reported offenses increased between the 1-year preinstallation and 1-year postinstallation study period in the experimental area where alley lighting was improved. The evaluation also found that the experimental area experienced more notable increases in reported incidents over a 6-month preinstallation and 6-month postinstallation study period compared to the control area. The evaluation could not provide a definitive explanation of these findings.
Atkins, S., Husain, S., & Storey, A. (1991). The Influence of Street Lighting on Crime and Fear of Crime". Crime prevention unit paper No. 28, London Home Office, .
Ramsay, M., & Newton, R. (1991). THE EFFECT OF BETTER STREET LIGHTING ON CRIME AND FEAR: A REVIEW. Crime prevention unit paper No. 29, London Home Office, .