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World's first glow-in-the-dark cycle path
by Startacus Admin
When it comes to improving health and safety within the built environment, practicality is not the only consideration that must be made. More and more often nowadays civic planners, artists and scientists are pioneering innovative ways to ensure and advance the safety of the public without impinging on the beauty of our surroundings. What’s more, many see necessary improvements to infrastructure as a valuable opportunity to enhance the appearance of our urban landscapes.
Beautiful and Practical- The World’s First Glow-in-the-Dark Cycle Path
In the Dutch province of North Brabant public officials, scientists, and creative types have joined forces to create the world’s first glow-in-the-dark cycle path…an idea so wonderfully simple that we question why it has taken so long for someone to put it into practice.
In a move dripping with poetic significance the cycle path design was inspired by Dutch born Vincent Van Gogh's most celebrated masterpiece ‘The Starry Night’- a man and a painting so enshrined in the nation’s consciousness, now literally embedded in its landscape.
“It’s like you are cycling through a painting, only this one you can touch” Says designer Daan Roosegaarde who is responsible for bringing the idea to life and was determined from the outset to make the path both ‘practical and poetic’.
“When I was a boy I always went outside, I didn’t stay inside, I went into nature, I built tree huts, and I was so used to personalising and customising the world around me. Then when we grow up, people suddenly say ‘You should not do that anymore’ and I never believed that”.
Energy Neutral Pathway
Like traditional ‘glow in the dark’ objects the Starry Night cycle path is energy neutral, but in a very much more complex way than the little green stars you might have had on your bedroom ceiling as a child (which unfailingly lost their lustre over time).
Using a specially designed luminescent material that Roosegaarde describes as ‘electric paint’ 50,000 fluorescent “rocks” are imbedded into the pathway in Van Gogh inspired swirls which charge in the sun during the day and light the way of weary cyclists by night.
The specially designed coating has huge potential for future development, and scientists plan to make it as dynamic as possible which could include shifting colours and markings which can appear and disappear altogether.
Check out the mesmerising pictures below and imagine what your nearest cycle path would look like with this technology.