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Light Pollution in Nathan Road

Residents need help with light pollution in Nathan Road

Updated on Jul 27, 2008 – SCMP

I refer to the report (“Shedding light on a hot topic”, July 20), about the light-pollution problem caused by the flashing neon on Nathan Road.

While smoking is banned in public areas, our government does not put much effort into curbing the light-pollution problem.

The Times Square incident regarding public space indicated that there is no precise definition of a public area even if it is written on a well-drafted contract.

From my point of view, a public area does not simply refer to the area itself, but also to the quality of the air at that location, as this is air we all have to breathe.

I remember when I was studying economics at university, our professor told us that there is usually a divergence between private cost and social cost.

By that he meant that businesses do not have any incentive to take into account the interests of the public when they are making corporate decisions.

In the case of Nathan Road, residents have undoubtedly been adversely affected by the array of flashing neon lights.

Unfortunately, there is nothing residents can do unless they get government support.

Officials recognise that air pollution is a problem.

Why can’t they take the next step and deal with other forms of pollution?

Mike Lam Chun-wa, Tai Kok Tsui

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