16th and 17th December 2021 - ONLINE

International Conference

Shaping light for health and wellbeing in cities

The conference is being organised by the ENLIGHTENme consortium, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.  The contributions received will be considered for building the existing knowledge framework on lighting and health and wellbeing within the ENLIGHTENme project.

Participation to the conference is free of charge

The Conference

Two Days of Powerful Talks
16-17 December 2021 

A major consequence of urbanisation is an exponential increase of human exposure to electric light at night. Public outdoor illumination and the artificial sky glow created by highly urbanised areas are the main sources of exposure. This is complemented by increasing exposure to light at the individual level through domestic lighting and light-emitting screens, or too little exposure during the day due to shift work or unregulated lifestyles.  


The consequences of inappropriate and disruptive light exposure, generated by the urban environment, profoundly affects people’s health and wellbeing, altering the circadian rhythm. These effects cannot be overlooked, especially when they affect vulnerable populations like older adults who suffer disproportionately.


Light also shapes urban spaces and social life, thus influencing people’s behaviour, moods, and sense of security, as well as social relationships, easing or hampering socialisation and participation in civic life.  

Although public awareness of light-related health and wellbeing issues is increasing, there is less understanding of how health impacts derived from urban lighting are mediated by social inequalities present in cities that may determine the kind and amount of light that citizens are exposed to.


Scientific Committee


EU Research Project


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

What is ENLIGHTENme?

With a growing world population and rising urbanisation comes an underestimated by-product: the increase of human exposure to electric light at night. This includes public outdoor illumination, the artificial sky glow created by highly urbanised areas, but also light exposure at the individual level, such as domestic lighting and light-emitting screens. Inappropriate and disruptive light exposure at night or too little light exposure during the day profoundly affects people’s circadian rhythm, health and wellbeing. Especially older adults over 65 years of age are prone to be impacted, with consequences for epigenetics and metabolism, predisposition to diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration, and psychiatric disease. Knowledge about the health effects and guidance for adequate urban lighting strategies have the potential to substantially counteract these developments.


This is where ENLIGHTENme comes into play: Bringing together experts from different scientific fields and sectors such as urban development and health research, the ENLIGHTENme team aims to collect evidence about the impact outdoor and indoor lighting has on human health – especially in elderly people who are known to be particularly prone to suffer circadian misalignment. Moreover, ENLIGHTENme sets out to develop and test innovative solutions and policies that will offset health inequalities in European cities.






Pilot Cities
Mio €

Opening Plenary session

Keynote Speakers

16 December 2021 
The aim of the conference is to investigate the multifaceted consequences light has on life in cities. Contributions from participants will support the collection of evidence on indoor and outdoor lighting impacts on health and wellbeing. They will be analysed considering their various domains (medicine, social sciences, urban and lighting design, urban planning, ethics, etc.) and included in the development of tools and policy guidance to support the decision-making processes, ensuring the integration of health and wellbeing domains in urban lighting plans.
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Prof. Lucy Kimbell

University of the Arts, London

Dr Lucy Kimbell is Director, Social Design Institute, and Professor of Contemporary Design Practices at University of the Arts London.
Her research looks at the emergence and development of ‘design thinking’ and the use of ‘social design’ expertise to address social and public policy issues. Lucy is currently co-investigator on two UKRI funded projects which are cross-disciplinary and co-produced with non-academic partners using design to address the contemporary issues of AI and Anti-Microbial Resistance.
Lucy was AHRC design research fellow in Policy Lab, a team in the Cabinet Office in 2014-15 and worked with the EU Policy Lab team using design and futures approaches. She was previously Clark Fellow in Design Leadership at Said Business School, University of Oxford for five years and taught design thinking on the MBA for 14 years as well as being involved in executive education.

Twitter @lixindex

Social Design Institute https://www.arts.ac.uk/ual-social-design-institute

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Prof. Russell Foster

Oxford University

Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi) and Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford.

He is also a Fellow at Brasenose College.

Prior to this, Russell was at Imperial College where he was Chair of Molecular Neuroscience within the Faculty of Medicine.

Russell Foster’s research spans basic and applied circadian and photoreceptor biology.

For his discovery of non-rod, non-cone ocular photoreceptors he has been awarded the Honma prize (Japan), Cogan award (USA), and Zoological Society Scientific & Edride-Green Medals (UK). He has authored and co-authored over 200 papers and has published 3 popular science books.

Closing Plenary session

Project Coordinators

Chair: Simona Tondelli
Speakers: Session chairs and discussants
17 December 2021 
Shaping light for health and wellbeing in cities means to consider diversified aspects and implications that light can have on human lives.
The aim of the closing session is to present the main outcomes discussed in the parallel sessions providing a comprehensive and transdisciplinary perspective of the findings achieved and challenges to tackle.

Conference Registration

Participants are invited to submit case studies, reviews or technical papers related to the conference topics under the form ‘Extended Abstracts’.

All the selected extended abstracts will be published in the Conference Proceedings and made available in the will be stored on AlmaDL Open Access repository. Authors of high quality contributions will be invited to submit a full paper in Sustainability, Conference Exclusive Selection: Shaping light for health and wellbeing in cities at reduced publication fees.

Participate in the plenary sessions and selected parallel sessions as listener.

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