Presented in the “Cities in balance with nature” session at the Ecocity World Summit 2015 in Abu Dhabi
Giacomelli, A., Bartalucci, A., Spinosi, C.
The BuioMetria Partecipativa (BMP) project started in 2008 to encourage citizens to collect quantitative data on light pollution as a strategy for environmental awareness raising. The emission of light from cities or large infrastructures, if the lighting systems do not use proper fixtures and lamp types, has negative effects on
- 1. energy consumption (with dispersion of light in directions which do not help human activities)
- 2. human health (disruption of circadian rhythm)
- 3. fauna, flora and landscape, for distances up to 180 km from cities, thus impacting rural areas and natural reserves.
- 4. safety and security.
The BMP team created the first Italian database on light pollution measurements populated by a group of citizens, including data from hand-held sensors and fixed stations. In May 2011 Attivarti.org was founded to manage the project through a legal entity, operating with a European vision, with a focus on promoting rural territories and liaising them with cities, and adopting open source software for information technology solutions, having twenty years of experience in this sector. Attivarti.org is a tiny NGO, based in a tiny (270 residents) village in Southern Tuscany, in an area which has one of the best night skies in the Italy, given the very low light pollution levels. At the national level, the project has obtained wide recognition, in terms of actual citizen participation, many outreach actions in cities (including Milano and Rome) and rural areas, and media coverage. The project also received a national award for innovation and community engagement. Internationally, the BMP project represents one of the longest-running experiences of participatory monitoring of night sky quality, and has developed a significant network of collaborations with other institutions active in light pollution research, awareness raising, and policy support. The BMP project aims at:
- – Interacting with stakeholders to trigger actual improvements in lighting practice.
- – consolidating its night sky quality monitoring network, either by acquiring more sensors, or by interconnecting pre-existing networks via a spatial data infrastructure approach (the BMP team has worked in the European INSPIRE Directive context)
- – Developing citizen science projects in addition to BMP.
The presentation will provide an overview of past and ongoing activities, and propose an outlook through 2021, with the priority of seeking synergies for new projects.