It's something we all crave and yet overworked professionals see too little of it - sunlight. Now, thanks to state-of-the-art technology, residents living in city centres with high-rise buildings could soon be enjoying more of the golden rays.
Clouds permitting, of course.
Birmingham-based land planners and landscape architects Lovejoy have invested in thousands of pounds in technology which recreates the path of the sun and the differing levels of light it casts.
The sun-path analysis computer programme takes a 3D image of a location such as Birmingham city centre and creates a round-the-clock visualisation of the light cast on and between buildings from sunrise to sunset.
The technology is being used by Lovejoy to help plan developments so that they get the maximum sunlight and minimize the impact of shade on surrounding developments.
According to Ranjit Sond, one of Lovejoy's CAD (computer-aided design) managers, towns and cities undergoing redevelopment will be able to benefit in a way that Birmingham hasn't in previous decades.
"This technology helps us to plan buildings at different heights, angles and aspects so that the public space between those buildings enjoys as much sunlight as possible," he tells Business Property Review.
"It's something that Birmingham could have really benefited from when it was redeveloped in the 1960s and 70s. Unfortunately, the technology wasn't quite as advanced back then and so our public spaces - the streets, the parks, the squares - don't enjoy a great amount of sunlight.
"With the exception of a few bars dotted around the city, there are very few spaces where you can sit in the sunshine and relax. We've all heard about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) - perhaps we'd all feel happier if we allowed more sunlight into our public spaces."
That sentiment is shared by Benoy design director James Utting - and, thankfully, as design architect for Birmingham's new Bullring development, he has been in a prime position to do something about it.
"The two new major public spaces within Bullring - Rotunda Square and St Martin's Square - have been designed with the intention of maximizing the benefits of sunlight," he says.
"St Martin's Square in particular offers a new dignified setting to the beautifully restored St Martins Church and has a number of exciting restaurants and cafes with southerly aspects on its edges.
"Over the restaurants is a grand public viewing terrace, again facing south across the square towards the church. Beside the viewing terrace is a spectacular landscaped seating terrace containing public artworks and three dramatic colourful water features which will sparkle and glisten in the sunlight."
He also points to the junction of New Street and High Street. "The sunlight here will percolate through the seven different radial approaches to the newly-formed Rotunda Square, creating a variety of different natural sunlight effects around the day," he says.
"These ever-changing effects will animate Rotunda Square, adding further interest as people pass through it.
"We believe that both these squares will form a significant new public spaces at the very heart of the city, with St Martin's Square in particular offering a new meeting place, to take refreshments or simply relax, soak in the sunlight and atmosphere while watching the world go by."
Back at Lovejoy, director Angus Robertson says a wide variety of business could - and should - take advantage of the sun-path technology.
"Different businesses have many different requirements, including the amount of light cast on the front of their premises," he explains.
"A bar or restaurant will really benefit from the sun but a fashion retailer may actively avoid it as it diminishes lighting options and fades the stock."
There are other issues such as rights to light, as Mr Robertson warns: "Residential properties are legally entitled to a certain amount of natural light and those who have their light blocked by new development are entitled to cash compensation.
"Blocking the path of the sun can be an expensive mistake as some people have received compensation of more than #10,000 per room for having to put up with too much shade."