Architects around here know it, and have known it for years. People want balconies.
So there are balconies on most buildings around town. On many of these you'll see outdoor curtains--usually made out of a heavy canvas or plastic fabric. They block light, dust, rain, and they do it without stopping air circulation.
Whatever advantages they offer, I didn't like them much when we first got here. I thought they looked messy.
But, like so many other things in this city, they've grown on me.