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Light and the perception of cleanliness in the metro environment

M12 Research Project by Niels Molenaar. Report: [PDF, 400K]

Metro Environment

In public spaces to improve the public perception of cleanliness different lighting conditions can be utilized to dim or to light the littered areas. One would suggest to dim the light for the littered area, or the other way around, to improve the perceived cleanliness. It is however not clear how the lighting condition in the littered area would influence the perceived cleanliness. In this paper we report the result from an experiment in which a metro environment is set up to observe how people react to darkened and lightened litter. The result is somewhat supersizing. People perceive an environment as cleaner when attention is drawn to litter by focusing light on it. The causes of this observation are discussed.

N. Molenaar, Light and the perception of cleanliness in the metro environment, M12 Project Report, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, 2010.