Turkey’s first Dark Sky Park to open in Bursa
The Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, which has initiated works to become a member of the International Dark Sky Association, will set up Turkey’s first Dark Sky Park in the city. Milky Way observation activities, educational activities and sports activities will be organized in the Dark Sky Park, which has only 92 examples in the world.
While factors such as developing technology, population growth and consumption increase the share of outdoor lighting in electricity consumption day by day, light pollution has also come to the fore as an important environmental problem in recent years.
While illumination of unused areas and excessive illumination in used areas increase energy consumption costs all over the world, the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, in collaboration with the Turkish Healthy Cities Association and Bursa Amateur Astronomy Association, made light pollution measures in Bursa for the first time in Turkey.
As a result of light pollution measures, made at 1,021 different spots where 90 percent of the city population lives, a light pollution map was created. On the map, green colors stand out as the places where the intensity of light pollution is the highest and blue colors are the points where the intensity of light pollution starts to decrease.
According to the Light Pollution Research Project Final Report, 97.8 percent of Turkish population lives under the light pollution and 49.9 percent of the population does not see the Milky Way at all.
Works have been initiated to create the Dark Sky Park in Başalan Plateau of İnegöl district, where there is least light pollution according to the Light Pollution Map. It will be the first Dark Sky Park in Turkey.
As part of the project, a thematic observation park will be established to diversify adventure tourism. The project will be implemented by preserving the natural texture of the Başalan Plateau, and the park will be open to public access. Various sky observation activities, training activities and sports activities will be organized in the park.
In a statement, Bursa Metropolitan Mayor Alinur Aktaş said that light pollution is an important environmental problem, adding, “Recently, the subject we talk about the most is water saving and energy saving. This project, in which we aim to raise awareness about light pollution, will also add diversity to our city in terms of tourism.”