Empowered by Night
Old Dark | John Stilgoe
Ecological urbanism means throwing the switch, letting there be dark.
Urban lifestyles have become dependant on light; they have replaced nocturnal interactions with illuminant experiences. As a consequence, people have become disconnected from the normative interactions with the ecological phenomena only possible at night. This is typical for city dwellers because they have forgotten how to simply be in the dark. They require visual control, and consider darkness as an inconvenience that inhibits perception and their notion of clarity. In the night, they are disoriented, uncomfortable, and are influenced by elements that are out of their control.
Moreover, city residents have an uninformed conception of the overall value associated with nocturnal processes. In Old Dark, John Stilgoe asserts that the interactive opportunities that can only occur at night consider the following:
Roaming in the dark on moonlit, starlit, and dark-as-pocket nights let the attentive hear and sometimes se what the illumined miss, often in the purlieus of cities in down-scale space.
While implementing nocturnal ecological qualities to the city creates environmental benefits, this modification also facilitates the collective improvement of the urban lifestyle. By introducing nocturnal ecological processes to the urban context, people could become less dependent on illuminant infrastructures, and ultimately expand their environmental awareness. Furthermore, this reconfigured lifestyle is one solution that assists societal embracement of ecological urbanism.
(Source: Flickr / loveandtimetravel)