Linking nighttime outdoor lighting attributes to pedestrians’ feeling of safety: An interactive survey approach

Boris A. Portnov, Rami Saad, Tamar Trop, Doron Kliger, Alina Svechkina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Public space lighting (PSL) contributes to pedestrians’ feeling of safety (FoS) in urban areas after natural dark. However, little is known how different PSL attributes, such as illuminance, light temperature, uniformity and glare, affect people’s FoS in different contextual settings. The present study aims to bridge this knowledge gap by developing a model linking different PSL attributes with FoS, while controlling for individual, locational, environmental and temporal factors. To develop such model, the study employs a novel interactive user-oriented method, based on a specially-designed mobile phone application–CityLightsTM. Using this app, a representative sample of observers reported their impressions of PSL attributes and FoS in three cities in Israel, following a set of predetermined routes and points. As the study shows, higher levels of illumination and uniformity positively affect FoS, while lights perceived as warm tend to generate higher FoS than lights perceived as cold. These findings may guide future illumination polices aimed at promoting energy efficiency while ensuring urban sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0242172
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • City Planning/standards
  • Emotions
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Mobile Applications
  • Pedestrians/psychology
  • Photoperiod
  • Public Facilities
  • Safety
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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