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Nightlife in historical sites: between lights and shadows (visions and challenges)

Lina Nageb Fewella (Department of Interior Design and Furniture, Faculty of Applied Arts, Damietta University, Damietta, Egypt)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 13 April 2022

Issue publication date: 10 April 2024




The paper aims to describe the positive and negative effects of night lights in historical sites, as well as the most salient challenges faced by the visitors of these sites and determine ways to address them. The study aims to suggest several light-and-shadow approaches and designs to enhance the experience of visiting historical sites.


This study identifies problems of nightlife in historical sites with an online international questionnaire to determine the preferences and difficulties faced by visitors of historical sites during day and night. After that Egypt was determined as a sample case of a developing country; its archaeological sites need to be improved. The main problems of historical Egyptian sites were investigated and approaches in developing historical sites with interactive lighting design were presented after an online questionnaire to the Egyptian society.


The paper shows that archaeological sites need some development, especially in their technological and lighting aspects, to overcome visitors’ low night-time interest in archaeological sites. Research has found certain limitations in the effects of constructing artificial illumination. The study provides modern sustainable solution for some light challenges in historical sites with approaches and solutions to solve it.

Research limitations/implications

The results of that research could be applied in developing countries, but with larger specific studies to the historical urban locations according to the politics of the country.

Practical implications

The paper includes sustainable approaches in developing historical sites with technological lighting design required to enhance historical sites at night-time and make visits more interactive and interesting.


This paper presents an identified need of historical sites visitors’ to study applying modern approaches in enhancing urban historical sites.



Fewella, L.N. (2024), "Nightlife in historical sites: between lights and shadows (visions and challenges)", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 358-378.



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