Rethinking the urban lighting by the starry margins of the city. The case of the International Dark Sky Reserve of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre.
Un billet du Collectif RENOIR (Rémi Bénos, Samuel Challéat, Dany Lapostolle & Johan Milian) | Proposition de communication à la session S12 de la 12ème Conférence Internationale d’Histoire Urbaine Villes d’Europe, villes du monde (Lisbonne, 3-6 septembre 2014)
« Les douze heures noires » are no longer. The growth of artificial lighting in urban areas marked a sharp increase since the 1960s, and brings out the concept of “light pollution”. Forming halos, light get out of the morphological boundaries of cities. It sprawls in rural areas. Nowadays, techniques and Policies of urban lighting try to integrate this issue.
In France, public lighting is subject to new regulations directly resulting from the Grenelle de l’environnement (2007-2010). During those national negotiations, NGOs took a prominent place alongside national and local authorities and syndicates. They participate in various working groups erecting light pollution in new environmental public policy problem. However this first consideration of legislative and regulatory of light pollution depends on two issues : spatial distribution in rural and urban zoning, and normalization process of illumination. These regulation devices stresses the permanence of cleavage between technocratic and environmentalist approaches.
In Europe, the International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) act as tool in order to push lighting regulatory policy in urban areas. In this paper, we focus on the emerging IDSR case of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (French Pyrenees). This reserve is a regional regulation system including a « dark core » without inhabitants, and a peripherical area with some major cities like Pau, Tarbes or Toulouse. The involvement of various actors allows to resolve urban conflicts about the colonization of the night by artificial light.
We consider that one effect of this new type of reservation is to protect the reception areas of pollution by changing practices and uses of lighting adjacent urban areas. Our paper aims to question how protection of the night in rural areas retroacts on technical and policies of urban lighting in these cities.