|Wednesday, June 24|
The quality of built environment plays an important role in supporting walking among all groups in society. In particular, the public outdoor lighting is vital in ensuring visual accessibility and also, perceived safety of the environment during the hours of darkness. This requires an understanding of how outdoor lighting contributes to the overall experience of the urban environment and how such experiences affect walking among different groups of people with different needs. This symposium aims to bring attention to the role of lighting design to walking. It will discuss theoretical and methodological issues related to pedestrians experiences of different outdoor lighting designs across cultures, the psychological processes associated with these experiences, and how these experiences play into walking behaviour also among vulnerable groups in society. The Human-Environment Interaction model which states that the interaction between individual and his/her surrounding activates a basic emotional process that influences the individuals experience of the lit environment and therefore, behavioural responses, is introduced as the overarching lens to understand the topic. Moreover, the symposium exemplifies how the urban artificially lit environment can be evaluated with respect to both technical and user aspects, and how such evaluations have guided municipalities in implementations of new energy efficient outdoor lighting applications.
* Maria Johansson, Lund University, Sweden
A psychological perspective on pedestrians microscopic behaviour along artificially lit paths
Aliaksei Laureshyn, Lund University, Sweden
* Maria Johansson, Lund University, Sweden
Mikael Nilsson, Lund University, Sweden
Street lighting is important to peoples’ use of urban spaces during the dark hours. According to theory on human – environment interaction walking patterns would be affected by the physical and social environmental context. New energy efficient lighting applications should be evaluated in terms of pedestrian’s perception, evaluation and behavior in the lit environment. However, research on pedestrian behavior in real artificially lit environments is limited. Extraction of the microscopic data on road user movement is a relatively common method in urban traffic studies, but dark settings presents certain challenges to the method. This study presents a video-technology to assess pedestrian micro-scopic behavior along artificially lit paths. The objective was to compare two lighting applications with regard to the pedestrians’ experience of the lit environment and their walking behavior. A study comprising 62 participants was carried out along a path in the City of Malmö, Sweden under the original lighting conditions (Application I) and under a new lighting solution (Application II). Data were collected by structured walks combined with observer-based environmental assessments and video analysis of walking behavior. Results show that in Application I 69 % of the participants reported difficulties to see at part of the path as compared to 12 % of the participants in Application II (Chi-squared = 21.02, p < .001). In Lighting Application I participants stressed that the path was dark, whereas in Lighting Application II the surroundings were reported to be too dark. The video analysis however revealed that in Application II pedestrians, most likely due to the perceived dark surroundings, walked closer to the centre of the path putting themselves at risk for collision with cyclists. It is concluded that new lighting applications must be carefully adapted to people’s needs while walking in urban environments during dark hours.
Public outdoor lighting for visually impaired pedestrians - an empirical field study
* Pimkamol Mattsson, Lund University, Sweden
Pedestrians with vision impairments often experience mobility problems in urban areas. In particular, the problems occur during the hours of darkness when outdoor lighting plays a vital role. However, perceptions of the lighting quality could be varied between different groups (e.g. elderly, young women and visually impaired people). Using Küller’s Human-Environment Interaction model as a point of departure, the lighting quality could be considered as an environmental feature influencing individuals’ own perceptions of the overall environment with regard to walking. The aim of this empirical study was to advance knowledge about the effect of public outdoor lighting on visually impaired pedestrians by investigating their perceptions of different lighting conditions, and whether the lighting was perceived as promoting walking in urban areas. The study took place in a residential neighborhood in Southern Sweden where participants with different types of vision impairments (n=17) walked and assessed 5 different lighting conditions along a route of about 500 meters. By means of structured interviews, differences in perceived lighting quality were found in terms of strength quality (i.e. brightness perception) and evenly distributed light. Light-emitting Diodes (LED) lighting was perceived as giving more evenly distributed light and strength quality compared to conventional lighting. The participants were also encouraged to think aloud while walking and thereafter, the data indicate different responses to the different lighting conditions regarding visual accessibility and also, the walkability of the route. While cities’ transition to energy efficient lighting is on-going, little is known about outdoor lighting for visually impaired people. Assessing their perceptions in the field would provide more information. This would facilitate design improvements in public outdoor lighting to support walking for all user groups and avoid the risk of ineffective design before a larger scale implementation.
Street lighting and environmental safety evaluation across different countries: A cross-national comparisons between the Netherlands and Argentina
* Antal Haans, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Graciela Lucía Tonello, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina
Natalia Valladares, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina
Instruments used for the evaluation of urban environments and street lighting are often used across different countries and cultures. However, there is little research on how national differences affect the performance and psychometric properties of these instruments. To investigate this 48 participants from the Netherlands and 50 from Argentina (57 women and 41 men; Mage = 31; Range 18 to 68) evaluated 100 photos of nocturnal urban streets; 50 of which from the Netherlands and 50 from Argentina. Each photo was rated on 3 items of the Perceived Environmental Safety (PES) instrument and on 6 items of the Perceived Outdoor Lighting Quality (POLQ) instrument (3 items measuring lighting intensity, and 3 items measuring lighting comfort). We found high interrater consistency across both samples of raters and across both samples of streets for all items, with ICC(C,k) ≥ .95, except for the naturalness item of the POLQ, with ICC(C,k) values between .50 and .80. Both groups of raters showed substantial inconsistency when judging the naturalness of the lighting. Factor analyses confirmed the expected factor structure of the PES and POLQ for both rater groups, except for the comfort glare item not loading on the comfort but the lighting intensity dimension—the latter likely resulting from the use of photos. Factors scores obtained for Dutch raters correlated highly with those obtained with Argentinian raters, with r ≥ .94 and p < .001; demonstrating again the consistency between both country groups. Finally, a series of multilevel analyses demonstrated small but statistically significant differences in lighting intensity and comfort ratings between Dutch and Argentinian raters, and small but significant country of rater by country of street interactions. Limitations and implications of these findings will be discussed.
Communicating walking experiences in the education of sustainable urban design
* Louise Lövenstierne, School of Architecture, Lth, Lund University, Sweden
The role of the Architect and Urban designer has changed dramatically in a time where global questions such as climate, immigration, equality, health and economy are at play. There is a global consensus that urbanization must be channeled into responsible, sustainable, and livable urban forms. Developed working process methods and high quality urban design plays a key role in creating these sustainable environments. Interdisciplinary approaches in the academia are needed that will raise student’s awareness of how people behave in urban settings. This presentation aims to display how the core components of the master programme Sustainable Urban Design are integrated with research on walkable environments. A “conscious reading of places”, is crucial – experiencing, analyzing, investigating places using different urban theories and learning how places function and how they perform. Students in the program visit assigned sites, streetscapes and situations that encourages walking and bicycling in order to get common references, increased knowledge and practice the components that make healthier environments. The format of “WALKSHOPS” in close collaboration with researchers in environmental psychology has been explored as a systematic way to deepen the student’s knowledge by getting an insight in how pedestrians perceive places in the urban settings. All projects have to address following criteria: accessibility, diversity, identity, green/blue, layers of time, energy and place quality. A content analysis of the design projects in the program show that students using these interdisciplinary working methods in their design processes reach a deeper knowledge and more sustainable design solutions with regard to the set criteria.
Perception, evaluation and behaviour in the lit urban environment
* Johan Rahm, Lund University, Sweden
The UN Agenda 2030 highlights the need for safe and sustainable transport systems accessible to all. Walking, a part of most journeys taken within the city, is an integral part of sustainable transport systems. During the hours of darkness, pedestrians rely on outdoor lighting to facilitate walking, by providing visual accessibility and contributing to pedestrians’ perception of safety. At present, there are no standard methods for assessing the pedestrian response to the lit environment. In order to identify and evaluate a set of methods for assessing the pedestrian response to the lit environment, three studies were conducted. Study 1 was conducted in a full-scale laboratory using a mock-up of a pedestrian path in order to evaluate a set of methods for assessing the pedestrian response (perception, evaluation and behaviour) to three lighting applications. Study 2 was conducted on a pedestrian path in an urban park in order to evaluate the applicability of the methods from the laboratory in a field setting, by comparing two lighting applications. Study 3 tested a new behavioural method of assessing pedestrians’ preferences for outdoor lighting applications. All three studies employed participants from two age groups (young: 20-35 yrs.; elderly: 60-75 yrs.). The results suggest that that perceptual tasks and evaluation instruments may be used to differentiate between lighting applications. The results also show that elderly people depend on outdoor lighting more for providing adequate seeing conditions. The results from the method development study indicate that the new behavioural method can be used for assessing preference, and that the results correspond to results from self-rating scales. Taken together, the three studies suggest methods that can differentiate between lighting applications and that may be used by municipalities before undertaking major upgrades or new installations of outdoor lighting on urban pedestrian paths.
* Maria Johansson, Lund University, Sweden