Open Access

Approaches, Methods and Tools of Rights of Access to Sunlight around the World

   | Dec 31, 2019


Sunlight has always played an important role in the design of human settlements. Well-designed urban structures, especially in moderate or cold climates, should be assured of direct sunlight in indoor living spaces and also in public spaces. Direct sunlight in a built environment is an important factor for health and well-being, the effective functioning of solar systems, and sustainable construction. However, many problems involved in the exercise of rights of access to sunlight can arise when sunlight is obscured by a tall cityscape. Many states, regions, and cities regulate solar access, but solar rights and landowner rights are in a permanent conflict. The high urban density of many cities with tall skyscrapers accentuates the problem of the availability of sunlight. This paper presents a review of existing regulations and metrics for ensuring the availability of direct sunlight in buildings and of assessment methods that have been adopted in multiple countries and cities. Approaches, methods, and tools of rights of access to sunlight are critically analyzed. The paper also details experiences from former socialist countries where strict long-term strict on direct access to sunlight in flats were applied.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other