Sunday, June 16, 2019
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Paris: the City of Light wants to adjust the lighting

In these times of climate emergency, the fact for Paris to have been baptized "the City of Lights" is no longer a gift. This flattering qualification, which had been contiguous to the capital when it inaugurated the first public electric lighting system for the 1878 World Fair, is today a little cumbersome. Can we continue to light bonfires because radiation, attractiveness, tourism and nightlife demand it?

Monday, the council of Paris has addressed the issue through a deliberation proposed by Laurence Goldgrab, president of the group of radical left and independent. Initiative described as"Bright idea" by Senator Rémi Féraud, former Mayor of the Xe arrondissement … In the program, the creation of a "Committee of light in Paris, bringing together public and private actors", with a "Master plan of light". "I bet that if Paris shines well, Paris must shine better," asked the elected. As the public lighting market linking the city to the operator Evesa expires in 2021, it is the perfect moment to put the file flat.

If one aims at more sobriety, the drafting of the specifications of this new call for tenders will not be simple because spontaneously, nothing pushes to lower the light. The elected officials, like the population, love the illuminations and would take again a little more. Security, or at least the sense of security, involves fighting against the shadows. Several "exploratory walks" showed that, for women in particular, the point was not negotiable.

A little further from the stars

At the same time, the City of Light can not get away from what we now know about light pollution. The dark night is indispensable for the metabolism of humans and animals. The National Association for the Protection of the Night Sky and Environment, which advocates for communities to stop lighting up the sky (with ball lights) or deserted streets at three in the morning, has already distributed between one and five stars to 570 virtuous municipalities. According to its census, "12,000 communes have already adopted a partial or complete extinction in the middle of the night". Overall, the situation is deteriorating: the association believes that "The amount of light emitted at night from public lighting alone, since the 1990s, has increased by 94%".

Obviously, Paris is not about to get a single star. But the debate in the Paris Council showed that the capital had room for improvement. Eric Helard, UDI-Modem, recalled that the city was "Competent on the extinction of offices and windows". Indeed, since a 2013 decree, offices must be turned off one hour after the departure of the last occupant and showcases one hour after the closure of the store. Given what we observe the night in Paris, the PV did not have to rain a lot. At the height of deviousness, to circumvent the ban on street advertising, some merchants place their bright screen … in their window.

The effective detector

now "It's about putting a spotlight on the issues of public lighting", summed up the Transport Ecology Assistant, Christophe Najdovski, not stingy with a good word. He recalled that the city had received the award for exemplary lighting from the French Association of Lighting for the Smart lighting Antoine-Bourdelle street in the XVe borough. Equipped with a presence detector, the fifteen street lights of this small artery push the variator when a human arrives, pedestrian, cyclist or motorist. 7,610 kilowatt hours saved in a year. A beginning.

Sibylle Vincendon

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