Tags: Climate Change | nyc | night | lights | skyline | energy

NY Skyline May Look Dimmer if City Goes a Bit Greener

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 06:57 AM

The New York City Council is holding hearings on a proposal that would require commercial buildings to dim their nighttime lights, The New York Times reported.

The goal is to conserve energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lessen light pollution which advocates say is harmful to urban wildlife.

The amount of allowable external light would be regulated. The illumination in about 40,000 non-residential buildings would need to be dimmed when they are unoccupied. Violators could be fined $1,000.

The bill allows city managers to make exceptions for structures such as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building that are "a significant part of the city's skyline."

Christmas decorations and other "temporary seasonal displays" would also be exempted by the bill.

The measure is sponsored by Councilman Donovan Richards Jr., who represents neighborhoods in the borough of Queens near the airports and coastline.

Critics, including the Real Estate Board of New York and the Food Industry Alliance of New York State, said the proposal is impractical. Food industry representative Jay Peltz told a council hearing: "Security cameras would be useless in the dark, and police officers would no longer peek into darkened stores at night," according to the Times.

Catherine Skopic, an environmental activist, said even the iconic Empire State building should be dimmed. "Many of us have felt a sense of pride in its beauty. However, now that we are in this climate crisis, we see these lights as something else. We see them as wasteful of energy," the Times reported.

The idea of reducing nighttime illumination has the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The city is converting its 250,000 streetlights from sodium-vapor to the more environmentally friendly LEDs as part of a push to cut its carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030.

Some city dwellers have complained that the new energy-saving lights cause more glare and make it harder to sleep, according to the Times.

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The New York City Council is holding hearings on a proposal that would require commercial buildings to dim their nighttime lights, The New York Times reported.
nyc, night, lights, skyline, energy
319
2015-57-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 06:57 AM
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