Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Design
The illuminating bicycle path is now accessible for everyone. According to Roosengaarde it is like riding through a fairy tale: “It is a perfect place for a first date”.
use for their benefit; at night the path shows the way, while it feels like a ride through a Van Gogh painting.
Glow-in-the-dark for grownups Roosengaarde is well known for his exceptional and smart designs. But the bicycle path is not the first solar road; previously Roosengaarde and Heijmans developed the ‘Smart Highway’, an interactive and sustainable road of tomorrow near Oss. Photo-luminescent paint marks the edges of the road, designed to make the highway safer, while saving money and energy. The Van Gogh bicycle path is created as a cultural and recreational excursion, based on the Smart Highway techniques Roosengaarde and Heijmans have developed. Roosengaarde: “It is inspired by the glow-in-the-dark stickers we had when we were children. This version is more modern and up-to-date. I think this could be the best and most economy-friendly solution for roads in about five to ten years. We do not need to build an entire new road to create a design like this. The stones and paint are added to existing roads.”
they have created a paint which can be activated by only a whiff of light. A tiny amount of electricity has a large effect; the roads are illuminated for up to eight hours, without disturbing the ecological environment. There is already a worldwide interest in these techniques; Qatar, England and multiple African countries show great interest in the use of solar roads.
Follow in Van Gogh’s footsteps The opening of the bicycle path last month marked the start of the Van Gogh 2015 international year. Next year is the 125th an-
niversary of the death of Vincent van Gogh. The entire year will be commemorated in the Netherlands with a comprehensive cultural programme on the theme ‘125 years of inspiration’. The Van Gogh-Roosengaarde bicycle path is part of the Van Gogh cycle routes, in the province of Noord-Brabant. The routes show places where Van Gogh lived, got inspired, and worked. The Van Gogh-Roosengaarde path is a part the routes in Nuenen, a village near Eindhoven where Van Gogh lived for two years and created one of his masterpieces The Potato Eaters.
Those who are familiar with the Dutch weather know that there are periods in the year with little sunlight. Therefore
Issue 12 | December 2014 | 49
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.