Perceptive transformation of the psyche using landscape lighting : a methodology and design framework for the creative and innovative use of landscape lighting in increasing the perception of safety in urban trails

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Sanders, Jacob Taylor
Marlow, Christopher M.
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Thesis (M.L.A.)
Department of Landscape Architecture
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This project details the importance of innovative uses of landscape lighting in positively affecting perceptions of safety in urban environments, specifically in urban trails. Research methods, including review of key literature, project case studies, materials case studies, and data analysis are used in defining a framework for lighting design that increases activation and perception of safety in urban trails. Additionally, the framework is formed using applicable principles from design manuals, professional articles, and academic papers. This framework serves as a guide to incorporate effective lighting design principles relating to safety and perception in urban trails early on in the design process. The rise in world population has resulted in increased urbanization and development, resulting in a 24-hour culture with a need for safe urban trails. As cities continue to grow, safety of the public utilizing urban trails is a major concern. These urban trails must be perceptually and physically safe in order to be fully activated and utilized by the public. Many cities today struggle with rising crime rates. Crime affects the actual safety, quality of life and perceived safety of individuals living in the urban settings. One such way to possibly reduce crime and increase positive perception of safety in urban settings is through the creative use of lighting in urban trails. This study and the proposed design framework are formed from the research question: How can the negative perception of unsafe conditions in urban trails be ameliorated by the innovative use, placement, and installation of lighting?