Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde’s cycle path, illuminated with patterns based on Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night, officially opens in Nuenen this week. The surface of the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bicycle Path is coated with a special paint that uses energy gathered during the day to glow after dark.

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Forming part of the Van Gogh cycle route through the Dutch province of Noord Brabant, where the artist was born and raised, the kilometre-long section of path illuminates in swirling patterns that reference his 1889 painting of a night-time scene.

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A nearby solar panel is used to generate power to illuminate the coated surface, which was developed with infrastructure firm Heijmans. LEDs along the side of certain curves in the path cast extra light, meaning the path will still be partially lit if the weather has been too cloudy for the panel to charge the surface to its full brightness.

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After its official opening, the bicycle path in Nuenen – just east of Eindhoven – will be open to the public year-round for free. The project is the second manifestation of Roosegaarde’s Smart Highways research into creating safer and more energy efficient road networks.

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