FROM the ground looking upwards and from the sky looking down, in a city the view alters little no matter the angle.

Stand in the middle of a city park at nighttime and above you, if you're lucky and if the light pollution isn't too thick, you see darkness punctured with bright points of starlight.

Overhead, flying across a city looking down, all is black but the lights throbbing up at you.

Lights almost everywhere, almost but for the black spots of greenspaces.

A city's most vibrant parts at night are no-go, low-vis zones protected by the invisible barrier of the dark.

In 2016, a resident of Glasgow's south side, Chris Pech, launched a petition calling on Glasgow City Council to light up Queen's Park at night.

Living in a household of women, he felt moved to push for change on the issue seeing how intimidating it was for his pregnant partner, mother-in-law and sister-in-law to walk the family's dogs in the pitch dark evenings.

He described the feeling of entering the park as "Russian roulette". There was ample support for the campaign but the local authority said no.

It said that lighting would disrupt the wildlife in the park and cause unrest to the habitat's natural routines.

Mr Pech was perhaps ahead of time. In the past few weeks, however, the call for lights has re-emerged thanks to a convergence of events.

At the brutal death of Sarah Everard in South London, another national conversation was sparked about the safety of women and girls and the female experience of moving through public spaces.

Until we solve the thorny issue of male violence, mitigations are all we have - and the perceived security of well-lit spaces is one way to allow women and girls to participate in late night life.

During COP26 road closures were put in place in Glasgow's west end that forced a diversion through Kelvingrove Park.

The park, of course, was pitch dark and women reported feeling intimidated and frightened while being compelled to take the route through it.

Also pertinent to the debate, of course, is the pandemic.

We're living with covid-19 now, and one of the ways to mitigate the spread of the virus is to socialise outdoors.

The bulk of housing in a city like Glasgow is flats, where residents often don't have their own spaces to relax or entertain.

In winter in Scotland, if you don't have a garden, the chance to meet friends outdoors away from the pub largely ends when it becomes dark at 4pm.

Lighting a city's parks would create additional and safer active travel routes.

Going from Kelvin Way, say, to the city centre, is quicker and pleasantly away from traffic if you cut through Kelvingrove Park. Ditto going from Shawlands to Govanhill and in to town if you hang a right through Queen's Park.

But at night, when we cycle from Govanhill to the restaurants of Strathbungo or the pubs of Shawlands, we take an unnatural detour right round the outside.

Some lights on the main paths would open these routes back up again for travel and also for runners.

Running in winter in Scotland is a time sensitive bummer.

You're stuck with the pavements of an evening after work because it's too pitch black to make it safely through the soft routes of the parks.

Those who are pro-lighting argue that our parks are dead spaces at night, spaces that could be used, as described, for socialising, active travel and the programming of arts and sports events.

Of course, they are not dead spaces. Far from it.

Anyone with even the mildest acquaintance with TV nature programmes can conjure the scene when the lights go down: nocturnal animals sniffing whiskers from daytime hidey-holes; beasties and creatures writhing and wriggling their sundown fun.

Some mornings in Queen's Park, if you stand under a certain tree near the entrance by the Baptist church, you'll see a smattering of people curiously craning their chins upwards to seek out the source of a brrrrrring-rat-tat-tat coming from high branches.

We're watching a woodpecker up there, toiling his repetitive task.

Those wee chaps are diurnal and I'd hate to think he was missing a decent night's kip thanks to the human desire to colonise all unused space.

Yet there are town planners who insist lighting can be fitted that would not cause disruption to fauna or flora. It makes sense: plenty of other cities elsewhere manage to make their parks useable after dark without trampling on biodiversity.

There is a tension there, of course.

While COP26 highlighted the safety angle of keeping parks unlit, we do have to be particularly mindful of the environmental impact of every aspect of the city or we are hypocrites.

Again, though, experts say there are low energy means of brightening green spaces for public use in the evenings.

There is a tension, too, for the council.

They emphatically maintain that lighting is too damaging for the ecosystem but I wonder how the wildlife feels about the pulsing, multicoloured lights of GlasGLOW in the Botanics.

Or the lights and loud dazzle of Playground Festival in Rouken Glen Park. The bandstand in Queen's Park is hardly low key.

Perhaps the level of disruption to creatures great and small is commensurate with the commercial benefits of the events.

There must be a compromise solution here. Limited lights along certain useful paths and perhaps not all night but part of the evening.

No one is asking for parks to be lit up like the Fourth of July, just illuminated enough for useful recreation. Radio station Clyde 1 has now launched its Light The Way campaign and good luck to them.

The arguments for doing so are powerful enough to justify Glasgow City Council at least softening its flat no to a promise to look into it, to shine a light on the problem, if you will.