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Shenzhen's Xichong named first International Dark Sky Community in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-04-07 15:54
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SHENZHEN -- The Xichong Community in the southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen has been certified as an International Dark Sky Community, the first one of its kind in China, according to Shenzhen Astronomical Observatory.

The recognition by International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) marks an important milestone in Shenzhen's efforts to achieve equilibrium between urban development and dark sky protection.

An International Dark Sky Community is a town, city, municipality, or other legally organized community that has shown exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky through the implementation and enforcement of a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education and citizen support of dark skies, according to IDA.

Located at the southeast end of Shenzhen's Dapeng New District, Xichong is about 60 km from the city proper. It covers an area of approximately 10.9 square kilometers.

Xichong is well-shielded from urban light pollution, as the picturesque destination is flanked by mountains on three sides, with the sea embracing its fourth side. This is where Shenzhen Astronomical Observatory is located.

In August 2021, local authorities in Shenzhen began efforts to build a dark sky community in Xichong. In over a year, lighting facilities in the community were upgraded, and environmental standards for the dark sky community were formulated.

"The Xichong International Dark Sky Community demonstrates that creating a safe, nocturnal environment that benefits the community and protects the natural world using thoughtful lighting design is possible," said Amber Harrison, a program associate with IDA.

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