Innovative policies for improving citizens’ health and wellbeing addressing indoor and outdoor lighting



A major, albeit underestimated, by-product of urbanization is the exponential increase of human exposure to artificial light. Outdoor illumination, artificial sky glow, domestic lighting, light-emitting screens, etc. entrain circadian clock. Despite scientific evidences on the pathogenic role of circadian rhythms disruption in predisposing to NCDs, affecting sleep, metabolism, immune function and many aspects of behavior and mood, EU cities are mostly focusing on improving lighting services’ efficiency, reducing costs and emissions, but failing to consider lighting impacts on health and wellbeing. Through an open-online Urban Lighting and Health Atlas, ENLIGHTENme will collect and systematize existing data and good practices on urban lighting and will perform an accurate study on the correlations among health, wellbeing, lighting and socio-economic factors in 3 pilot cities -Amsterdam, Bologna and Tartu, where a target district will be selected due to its exposure to artificial light and to reflect social inequalities. Through the establishment of Lighting Urban Labs within the district, citizens and stakeholders will co-create innovative Lighting Urban Plans measures and define the implementation of a smart outdoor lighting system and indoor lighting changes in a pilot area within the district. There, a population-based study on elderly – addressed as a vulnerable group particularly prone to suffer circadian misalignment – will allow to assess lighting-dependent risks on mental and health conditions and surveys involving the overall district population and users will allow assess the impacts of urban lighting on quality of life and wellbeing. The results will allow to develop a dedicated Decision Support System and guidelines and recommendation on the impact of lighting on health and wellbeing, proposing innovative lighting policies, measures, technologies and interventions aiming at improving citizens’ health and wellbeing in cities. ENLIGHTENme is a part of the European Cluster on Urban Health.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Simona Tondelli

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Architettura
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna(Italy)

Other Participants:
Chrono@Work Bv (Netherlands)
The London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom)
Gate 21 (Denmark)
University Of Tartu (Estonia)
Eurice European Research And Project Office Gmbh (Germany)
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (United States of America)
Association Luci Lighting Urban Community International (France)
Fondazione Per L'Innovazione Urbana (Italy)
Health City Institute (Italy)
Tartu Linn (Estonia)
University Of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Stichting Vu (Netherlands)
UPPSALA UNIVERSITET - Uppsala Genome Center (Sweden)
ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH (Germany)
Azienda Usl Di Bologna (Italy)
Neri S.P.A. (Italy)
Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain)
Outside In (Cambridge) Ltd (United Kingdom)
Oengineering Srl (Italy)
Comune di Bologna - Area Personale e Organizzazione - Formazione (Italy)
Gemeente Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 4.999.908,75
Project Duration in months: 48
Start Date: 01/03/2021
End Date: 28/02/2025

Cordis webpage
Project website

Sustainable cities This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.