How Solar Lighting Can Make Our Communities Safer
A recent article published in the Morning Peninsula News highlights the community push for safely illuminated public spaces such as pedestrian walkways.
A local resident of Mornington Peninsula Shire, Victoria, launched a public campaign to have lighting installed at a nearby overgrown path that is often busy with pedestrian thoroughfare.
They are concerned with the safety of their local neighbourhood and are campaigning for a well-lit and maintained walkway to drastically reduce the risk of community safety being compromised.
The goal behind the campaign is to significantly reduce the chances of slips, falls and people lurking around by being provided adequate lighting and regular maintenance of the walkways.
Read the full article here.
The Hard Facts
Evidence supports this demand; Community Crime Prevention Victoria found that by having lighting in public spaces can be an effective crime prevention tool to improve surveillance and increase the risk of offenders being detected. In addition to this, people can feel safer in well illuminated areas, increasing activity, which can further improve secondary surveillance and therefore deter crime.
Further to this, a major study conducted in New York City found that the installation of street lighting reduced night-time crime by 39%.
The study, which was developed by the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab in conjunction with multiple government stakeholders, designed a randomized controlled trial involving 40 odd public housing developments, all of which had elevated levels of crime, and half of which received new lights and half did not.
The findings of this study have shown that it is possible to consecutively reduce crime and the local jail population, through the installation of streetlighting.
You can access the results and full report here.
The Bottom Line
Here at Green Frog Systems, we are strong advocates for illuminating parks, pathways and opens spaces with clean, solar energy to improve public safety.
However, the biggest challenge that organisations and businesses face with installing lighting in public spaces is the bottom line –cost.
One of the many benefits with solar lighting is that it eliminates the need for groundworks, saving local authorities and facilities managers money on installation and by reducing power consumption.
Thanks to solar lighting technology, essential projects that were previously deemed unviable due to high installation costs are now possible.
For more detailed information on how to design lighting for crime prevention, we recommend referring to this resource