Artificial light has given us remarkable freedom, allowing us to pursue our work and play long after the Sun goes down. And when that happens, a variety of little stars lit up the cityscape at night. What we see is a constellation brought down to earth. Arrayed in a grid that washes away, as Henry Beston wrote, “the holiness and beauty of the night”.
‘A walk in the Dark’ is a simplified map of Rotterdam with city strolls to avoid artificial brightness at night. Together with a more detailed map you can align the routes with street name information.
Get a copy of the map ›
Recorded conversation with Vincent Sterne:
While walking on one of the six dot-to-dot signature routes, I’m with Vincent Sterne. Vincent graduated in Phenology (a branch of Ecology that deals with biological cycles) and is devoted to investigating the impact of light pollution on natural habitats. He’s an amateur astronomer and a lover of the stars. During our walks, we talked about how artificial illumination endangers our environment and is damaging ecosystems in latent processes. Through my research on the brightness of our nights, I realised the ambiguity in the narrative surrounding artificial illumination. It’s obvious that well-lit environments provide a sense of security, doubtlessly lights are essential in crime prevention. They add a visible layer of safety. But within this safe dome of light, an invisible layer of danger is causing serious and irreversible threats for humans, plants, and animals. Luckily, I crossed paths with Vincent and I’m grateful that he is willing to share his knowledge along the way while discussing this sensitive topic.