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New SMART CITY Forum light pollution working group founded

The SMART CITY Forum has always dealt with current topics on Smart City and Smart Region and also forms working groups with interested members.

                               Light pollution in public spaces was declared as a working group topic, as it represents a strongly growing problem for people and nature. While it has so far been a topic mainly for specialist astronomy lights and environmental protection organizations, it is now to receive broader attention by means of a working group, among other things. To this end, the Smart City Forum established a working group on light pollution at its last expert meeting in Berlin.

The aim is to provide communities and regions with assistance for a holistic approach and for setting up an effective technology. The starting point of the initiative is, among other things, the promising experience and results of the pilot project of the city of Bad Hersfeld in the area of street lighting last year. Here, light optimizations could be carried out, which led to energy and CO2 savings of 91%.

In the project, light distributions in space were also optimized so that less light escapes unnecessarily and disturbingly into the upper light space. However, the overall reduction of light pollution above a city can only be achieved through the joint efforts of all emitters. This means that, in addition to the city administration, companies from industry and logistics as well as large infrastructure companies such as airports, seaports, German railroads and highway operators must also participate.

                               According to DIN SPECs 91347 and 91357, which were developed by the Smart City Forum, this can be achieved by connecting the companies with their lighting management systems to the central data platform of the respective city and thus using the valuable data already provided there, such as weather, traffic, insect flight and other environmental data, and converting it into concrete, measurable savings. This not only saves companies money, but also has a positive impact on their own sustainability goals and government climate targets in the transport sector.

The spokesman of the Smart City Forum, Prof. Dr. Dr. e.h. Lutz Heuser, was particularly pleased that pledges of support from the two digital ministries of Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia had already been received in advance. Both ministries support urban digitization and Smart City/Smart Region projects.

                               Minister Klara Geywitz - Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction - was also a guest at the expert meeting in Berlin and reported on the € 820 million support for 73 model projects and communities in the field of Smart City / Smart Region and gave some examples.
Minister Geywitz supported the initiative of the SMART CITY Forum to become active in the field of light pollution and underlined the importance of dark sky initiatives.

In this context, the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction is now examining which model communities want to address the issue of light pollution and participate in the working group.

                               The working group is headed by Thomas Fehling, former mayor of the district town of Bad Hersfeld / Hesse and a proven expert in smart city matters, who successfully implemented numerous smart city projects in his town during his time in office, and today helps cities and companies as a smart city ambassador to bring successful use cases to the field.

Thomas Fehling is looking forward to his new task in the SMART CITY Forum: "This was a great start with the commitments of the three ministers and several companies. Now we're getting down to work to provide concrete, timely actionable recommendations as quickly as possible for cities that want to actively address dark sky and light pollution issues."

If you would also like to participate, as a member of the SMART CITY Forum and in the WG Light Pollution, then you can find more information here: