This innovative technology could make public places, including airplanes, safer in the future.

By Stacey Leasca
March 04, 2021
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Studio Roosegaarde wants to save public spaces with the help of its new alternative "sun."

In March, the design firm from the Netherlands unveiled Urban Sun, a light it says can "safely clean up to 99.9% of the coronavirus" off of public surfaces and in the air in the blink of an eye.

"We can make places up to 99.9% virus-free in minutes, depending on weather and location, so the chance of getting sick or infecting each other is strongly diminished," Studio founder Daan Roosegaarde told Dezeen about the project, which was developed by scientists and researchers from the United States, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands.

According to the company, the Urban Sun uses far-UVC, a type of ultraviolet light that has the ability to kill viruses without posing a health risk to humans. The light can be used to shine a large circle into public spaces, including train stations, schools, and public squares. All they have to do is hang the overhead system above and shine the large cone light to sanitize the space below.

"The goal is not to say that we don't need the vaccine or that we don't need masks," Roosegaarde added. "Urban Sun doesn't cure coronavirus, but it does allow social gatherings to be safer."

Jet Bussemaker, President of the Council of the Public Health and Society Board, the Netherlands' independent parliamentary advising body, praised the project by noting, "It is inspiring. People are tired of COVID19. What we need is courage to find new solutions, to get in touch with each other, and create some intimacy. That is what Urban Sun is doing."

While the technology may seem far-fetched it's actually already in development for use in indoor spaces, according to Dezeen. Companies like Boeing are looking to use the tech to clean cabins in minutes to allow for safer travel for all.

"Suddenly our world is filled with plastic barriers and distance stickers, our family reduced to pixels on a computer screen," Roosegaarde said. "Let's be the architects of our new normal and create better places to meet."

For more information on the Urban Sun check out the company's website here.