Thursday, 25 June 2015

More about city lighting....and it's effects on urban species

Kingston/Elmbridge Riverside so-called wildlife corridor
Hale et al have just published another interesting paper that found that even for the most common species of bat in urban areas, lighting can act as a barrier to movement, so the fine-scale positioning of lighting can be critical. Gaps in tree lines should be narrowed and light levels minimised. Also, bats seem to cross in the darker parts of gaps, implying that lighting has additional costs/risks that the bats are trying to minimise see here:   Gap crossing thresholds for urban bats This and similar papers can be downloaded from the Lights and Wildlife Yahoo Group.


Lighting around my house from space
With this in mind,  consider the effect of urban densification and light pollution on the town centre neighbourhood by the Old Post Office development proposed by St George with its 19 storey glass towers. Many species reach a tipping point when the amount of built surface rises above 60% of the built environment.This is less for some of the bird species we see around the Fairfield. The light pollution from this development will spill onto the Fairfield and have a limiting effect on the amount insect biomass available to birds and bats. It will increase the urban heat island effect, increase the flood risk to nearby areas.

So it is  very  good news indeed that Kevin Davis, Leader of Kingston Council, has asked committee to refuse this application stating 'This building does not stir my heart and as a proud Kingstonian and Leader of this great Borough, this is why I believe the application should be rejected on the grounds of design quality, finishes and materials. This will send the clear signal to others who will build here that we want homes, we want you to build for us, but we want buildings fit for Kings, not be destroyed by Vikings'. 

see details of the proposal here https://www.youtube.com Old Post Office site

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