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"Imagine a better place where we can meet again": Urban Sun, a ray of light aimed to eliminate the coronavirus in the air, allowing people to start hanging out again in public space and interact. Another cutting-edge project by Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and scientists, have demonstrated how light can be used to improve our well-being and the environment surrounding us.

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Urban Sun is an open-air installation aimed to generate a beam of ultraviolet light with a specific wavelength of 222 nanometres to sanitise from coronavirus the irradiated public space. This project employs the power of light by conceiving a large UVC light circle acting as an additional source of protection in addition to current government regulations. 


Daan Roosengaarde, Urban Sun. Courtesy of rinnovabili.it


The technology behind Urban Sun is based on multiple and remarkable researches conducted by scientists from Columbia and Hiroshima University.

The study shows that specific ultraviolet light with this specific wavelength of 222 nanometres can reduce the presence of viruses, including various types of coronavirus and flu viruses, by up to 99.9%. While traditional 254 nanometre UV light can be damaging and risky for the ecosystem, this specific 222 nanometre light beam is considered safe both for human beings and animals. Studio Roosegaarde has been investigating the power of light for many years. This project begun two years ago, but the current health emergency due to the pandemic made the actual realisation much more urgent. Urban Sun merges design with science in order to deliver innovative solutions for people to live and interacting in a less aseptical way.


Daan Roosengaarde, Urban Sun detail. Courtesy of dezeen.com


The launch of Urban Sun took place at Rotterdam's the Erasmus Bridge, where Roosegaarde revealed what conceived to share a feeling of hope for a better and safer future.

The work has been evaluated by researchers from around the world, including prominent institution in the field of health. Authorities are excited about this task and they are describing it as encouraging, talented and full of audacity.


Prospect of Urban Sun by Daan Roosegaarde.Courtesy of rinnovabili.it


Carlo D'Alesio from MEG Science and Professor at Politecnico di Milano affirms that "virtual simulations indicate a positive impact of the Urban Sun in reduction of airborne coronaviruses in public spaces."

Jet Bussemaker, President of the Council for Public Health and Society in the Netherlands, eulogised the project announcing that “It's inspiring. People are tired of COVID19. What we need is the courage to find new solutions, to get back in touch with each other and to find some intimacy again. This is what Urban Sun is doing”.

Finally, the artist Daan Roosegaarde express his personal point of view about his last project: “Suddenly our world is full of plastic barriers and distance stickers, our family reduced to pixels on a computer screen. We try to be the architects of our new normal and create places to meet and interact".


Cover image: Daan Roosengaarde, Urban Sun. Courtesy of rinnovabili.it

Written by Elena Parcianello.

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