Clear The Air Energy Blog Rotating Header Image

Causeway Bay Mall Voted City’s Worst Light-pollution Landmark

Joyce Ng – Updated on Oct 06, 2008 – SCMP

A shopping mall at a busy corner in Causeway Bay has been named the most polluting city landmark in a campaign seeking to enhance public awareness of light pollution.

An online poll, organised by the green group Friends of the Earth, recorded 347 of 639 voters picking Windsor House on Great George Street as a “ridiculous” light spot.

More than 60 spotlights were illuminating billboards with 10,000 lux of light, the group found. The intensity was 20 times as high as required for an office environment.

Voters said the spotlights were scorching and hurt the eyes, and chased away customers instead of attracting them.

The green group will hold a protest in front of the building at 7pm on Friday. It calls for participants to wear sunglasses, bring an umbrella and put on sunscreen.

“We are not opposing advertising, but half of the lights should be enough to serve the purpose and it saves energy,” said Hahn Chu Hon-keung, the group’s environmental affairs manager.

Windsor House representatives were unavailable for comment.

Among the other 11 spots nominated by voters as polluting sources, the Prada store in Central and a sign for a non-existent Tse Sui Luen Jewellery Shop in Jordan rank second and third on the list, getting 98 and 41 votes. The jewellery-shop sign, an illegal structure, was still present even though the government has issued a removal notice.

Some of the sites were still lit after midnight when there were no shoppers. Residents have to hang a cloth over their windows to block the light.

Official figures show complaints about light pollution rising. The Environmental Protection Department has received 27 complaints in the first six months of this year, compared with 40 in all of last year.

There are no environmental regulations controlling light pollution, but outdoor advertising lights are regulated for safety reasons.

Some countries have rules to adjust the direction of light to avoid disturbing residents, Mr Chu said.

“I’ve seen a jewellery shop reducing its light sign’s flash frequency after residents complained. This shows the situation is adjustable.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>