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Light Pollution & Wildlife Habitat | Street and park lighting contributes to the artificial glow in our night sky. This creates light pollution that is detrimental to both human health and flora/fauna health. For instance, the use of nighttime light has been shown to disrupt natural biological rhythms, to create potentially adverse health effects in humans, and to threaten public safety (American Medical Association, 2012). Artifical light can change the way trees adjust to seasonal variations, which has implications for wildlife who rely on trees for shelter and habitat (Briggs, 2006). This is one example of how urban wildlife habitat can be affected by our design decisions. In addition to minimizing nighttime lighting, habitats can be enhanced through sustainable strategies such as leaving dead wood where possible, allowing for snags in natural areas, introducing butterfly gardens, and regenerating continuous understory and tree canopy cover particularly along riparian corridors. Policy elements S-4 and PD-11 address health and habitat considerations.

Dallas/ Fort Worth

Austin

San Antonio

Credit: NASA

Houston

The Texas Triangle at Night

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Profile for Austin Urban Forestry Program

Austin's Urban Forest Plan: A Master Plan for Public Property  

Today, urban forests are increasingly considered an element of a much larger green infrastructure network. Within this network, the urban fo...

Austin's Urban Forest Plan: A Master Plan for Public Property  

Today, urban forests are increasingly considered an element of a much larger green infrastructure network. Within this network, the urban fo...

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