Thursday, October 31, 2013

Should be standard feature in high-rise neighborhoods

From SFGate:

Residents of the small Norwegian town of Rjukan have finally seen the light.

Tucked in between steep mountains, the town is normally shrouded in shadow for almost six months a year, with residents having to catch a cable car to the top of a nearby precipice to get a fix of midday vitamin D.

But on Wednesday faint rays from the winter sun for the first time reached the town's market square, thanks to three 183-square-foot (17-square-meter) mirrors placed on a mountain.

Cheering families, some on sun loungers, drinking cocktails and waving Norwegian flags, donned shades as the sun crept from behind a cloud to hit the mirrors and reflect down onto the faces of delighted children below.

People who live on the north side of high-rises could get sunlight the same way, with remote-controlled mirrors on the south side of adjacent buildings directing reflected sunlight.

Little quality of life amenities like this can reduce the downside of high-density living and increase the number of people who choose that option.