miércoles, 6 de marzo de 2013

San Francisco: Bay Bridge ready to shine with 25,000 LED lights

Miriam De Castilla González

Sociedad y Política de Estados Unidos

6 de marzo de 2013

Today in Los Angeles Times site one of the nationals news is the 25,000 led light that run 1.8 miles and 500 feet high on the bridge's west span from dusk until 2 a.m. for the next two years. The objective of this project is about boost the tourism in the city, so the point of these lights is that boats can see it and people who is travelling want to visit San Francisco or Oakland.
The public art project is presented by the nonprofit illuminate the Arts, the energy cost runs about $11 000 for this period.  The principal authors of this project are Villareal, who works the Museum of Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and Ben Davis, producer of Amy Critchett. The artists had to be careful with the design or animations because it was viewable from up close, below the bridge and as far away.
In the book American Society by Erik Olin there is a chapter about consumerism culture in United States, how American people is searching happiness about shopping things. This kind of way to be happy is questioned because it has a lot of negative externalities like indebtedness and environment problems

Even though the new lights of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco it cost $15 dollars per night, the lights consumption will affect the environment of cities. In United States the Electricity consumption is of 13.394 (due to World Bank) and this kind of tourist attraction can affect the global warming.

On the other hand, Erik Olin mentions that the consumerism is making public goods a private product of service of American companies like education, water or transportation. In this situation, the street lights are a public good that people pay through their taxes, so this kind of government actions could analyze like : the borrow or the use of one public good for  the glory of an artist who is looking the appreciation of his job.

Finally, this action could generate a discontented from environment groups, and they could take some actions to opposite the new attraction like strikes or signing request. Because this lights will turn on more than 5 hours each night by 2 years and not only for a holiday period like summer or new year.  So, the government and the private artists, probably, calculated the economy costs of the lights but they couldn’t calculate the environment cost of it, although San Francisco is not considerate in the top of pollution cities in the world. 

In conclusion: I don’t know if this kind of actions will benefit the American people. Probably the point is increasing the sales in the city in restaurants, hotels, shops and payment booths in the bridge. So we can see the consumerism culture because government is encouraging to people to spend the money in a specific zone of California through of a new attraction which is the new incentive to spend money in the cars or in a boat trip.

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