The 24/7 City – a Myth?
Efforts to colonize the world after dark (Melbin, 1987) seem to be as old as human history – especially in cities. But the technological means to do so used to be very limited since devices for lighting up the night are crucial for whatever activity is to be pursued at night. During most of human history artificial light for nighttime activities was very dim and extremely expensive. Therefore, only special events or extremely important tasks could be lit. This changed with the invention of gas lighting and especially electric lighting, which made artificial lighting available in ever larger amounts and at shrinking costs.