Dimming the City
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This thesis addresses light pollution, specifically over-illumination, in cities. It examines the history of artificial lighting, the consequences of excessive light, and the motivations for its continued overuse: fear and normalization. My critique is aimed at urban design and architecture that does little to address the night, exacerbating our dependence on artificial light. The experiment investigates how the integration of minimal artificial light and architecture might alleviate our discomfort with the dark through the design of a city block. Drawing from the study of visual perception, principles were developed to assist in the design of nighttime environments in which we not only feel at ease, but that we embrace, thereby reducing both the need for and the amount of artificial light at night.