Better, not more, lighting: Policies in urban areas towards environmentally-sound illumination of historical stone buildings that also halts biological colonization

Méndez, Anxo
Prieto, Beatriz
Sanmartín, Patricia
Anthropogenic or Artificial light at night (ALAN) pollution, or more simply light pollution, is an issue of increasing concern to the general public, as well as to scientists and politicians. However, although advances have been made in terms of scientific knowledge, these advances have not been fully transferred to or considered by politicians. In addition, illumination of stone monuments in urban areas is an emerging contribution to ALAN pollution that has scarcely been considered to date. This paper presents a literature review of the topic of light pollution and related policies, including a bibliometric analysis of studies published between 2020 and 2022. The prevailing legislation in Europe regarding the regulation of outdoor lighting, which emphasises the complexity of controlling light pollution, is summarised and the regulation of monumental lighting in Spain is discussed. Findings concerning the impact of ALAN on biodiversity in urban areas, and the promising biostatic effect of ornamental lighting (halting biological colonization on stone monuments, mainly caused by algae and cyanobacteria) are described. Finally, trends in monument illumination and policymaking towards environmentally sustainable management are considered ​
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