Cleans public spaces of coronavirus.



URBAN SUN by designer Daan Roosegaarde and his team is the world’s first artificial sun which sanitizes public spaces of the coronavirus using a safe far-UVC 222 nanometers light. After the successful launch in Rotterdam, URBAN SUN goes on a world tour to Aarhus Festival in Denmark, Museum of Design Atlanta in the USA, the Netherlands Pavilion at the World Expo 2020 Dubai in the UAE, and other locations.

URBAN SUN is an innovative design installation which creates better and safer spaces to breathe freer.

Winner Gerety Award, Architecture MasterPrize, FastCompany World Changing Ideas Finalist 2021 and finalist Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards Pandemic Response.

In a time where we have to learn to live with COVID-19, URBAN SUN will travel internationally to speed up applications of this special far-UVC light as an innovative solution to reduce the spread of coronavirus. URBAN SUN will be presented at the Aarhus Festival, Northern Europe’s largest cultural event in Denmark. The Museum of Design Atlanta in the USA will display URBAN SUN at the exhibition ‘Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience’ at the end of August. The URBAN SUN movie will be shown at the Netherlands Pavilion of the prestigious World Expo 2020 Dubai, representing excellence in innovation and design. Studio Roosegaarde also opened a new pop-up studio in Dubai to strengthen its relationships in new art and science projects. Lowlands Festival, one of the biggest music festivals in the Netherlands, planned to present URBAN SUN as well.

"We are proud to present the footage of the innovative designs GROW and URBAN SUN by Roosegaarde at the Netherlands Pavilion during the World Expo 2020 Dubai. Art boosts innovation." - Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE

"We are all trying to find the right keys to open back up to the normal situation we knew. URBAN SUN could be part of a solution that we need." - Eric van Eerdenburg, Director of Lowlands Festival

Although traditional 254nm UV light is harmful, the specific light wavelength of 222nm is considered safe for both people and animals. It can reduce the coronavirus up to 99.9% and this has been validated by multiple scientists*. URBAN SUN acts as an additional layer of protection next to current government regulations. In this world tour, Studio Roosegaarde presents URBAN SUN to engage new collaborations.

Designing solutions
Studio Roosegaarde has been researching the power of light for many years and started the self-commissioned URBAN SUN in 2019. The development became more urgent due to the pandemic. URBAN SUN combines design and science, and can now be exhibited in any type of public space.

“Suddenly, our world is filled with plastic barriers and ‘keep-a-distance’ stickers, our friends reduced to pixels on a computer screen. Let’s be the architects of our future and create better places to meet and interact.” - Daan Roosegaarde, designer

URBAN SUN was created by Studio Roosegaarde’s team, along with external experts and scientists from the Netherlands, the US, Japan, Spain, and Italy. The URBAN SUN’s far-UVC light source is measured and calibrated by the Dutch National Metrology Institute VSL. URBAN SUN meets the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) safety standards.

The science behind URBAN SUN is based on multiple peer-reviewed journal articles authored by scientists from Columbia University and Hiroshima University. The research shows that specific ultraviolet light (far-UVC) with a wavelength of 222nm can reduce the presence of viruses, including various strains of coronavirus and influenza, up to 99.9%.

Authorities about URBAN SUN
Leading authorities are enthusiastic about the project and are describing it as hopeful, promising and full of courage:

-“Virtual simulations indicate a positive impact of the URBAN SUN in reduction of airborne coronaviruses in public spaces.” Carlo D’Alesio from MEG Science and Professor at Politecnico di Milano

-"It is inspiring. People are tired of COVID-19. 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." Jet Bussemaker, President of the Council of the Public Health & Society Board, the Netherlands’ independent parliamentary advising body

-“The use of 222nm far-UVC in public space, as in URBAN SUN, should prove to be both safe and effective.” Matthew Hardwick PhD, President at ResInnova Laboratories, Washington D.C., works with his team of virus experts and microbiologists

-“URBAN SUN is inspiring. It will make enjoying public spaces safer and I look forward to visiting locations where this far-UVC sun is shining.” Professor Karl Linden, award-winning innovator in UV technologies and founding board member of the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA), Colorado

-Listen here what Dutch scientists state about the far-UVC of URBAN SUN at NPO Radio 1.


2019-2021, Floating black sphere for a 15 meter circle of far-UVC 222 nanometers light, other media and technical simulations. The URBAN SUN’s far-UVC light source is measured and calibrated by the Dutch National Metrology Institute VSL. URBAN SUN is available for exhibitions and open to collaborations with governments and partners to upscale and improve new applications. Currently also a larger URBAN SUN for a 3500m2 area is in development.

URBAN SUN is the second project of the series DreamScapes by Studio Roosegaarde and partners which show the beauty of combining art and science to create a better world.

Photography by Willem de Kam, Ossip van Duivenbode and Daan Roosegaarde. Movie by MediaMonks and Studio Roosegaarde.

With special thanks to Jet Bussemaker, Public Health and Society Board, Matthew Hardwick PhD, President at ResInnova Laboratories, MediaMonks: Victor Knaap, Regina Romeijn, Jacques Vereecken, Karlijn Hendriksen, Els Tau, Tim Knots, Sterilray, Rotterdam Festivals, Professor Karl G. Linden of International Ultraviolet Association, Carlo D'Alesio of MEG Science and Professor at Politecnico di Milano, Dutch National Metrology Institute VSL, Andrea Evers of Leiden University, Project Open Air, Francis Goeltner, City of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Partners, NBTC, Bijl PR, Constantijn van Oranje, Eric van Eerdenburg Lowlands, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and Environment, Feike Sijbesma of DSM, City of Amsterdam, Omar Hatamleh of NASA, Dimitris Bountolos of Ferrovial, Jose Mariano of Zero2Infinity, Carlo Ratti of MIT Senseable City Lab, Luis Eljaiek, David Brenner, Ph.D., D.Sc of Columbia University, LUXIGON, Ann Maes, Lody Embrechts, Kim Heinen, Renske Satijn, and many others.

Urban Sun wins Architecture Masterprize
Urban Sun wins Architecture Masterprize
URBAN SUN is awarded in the installations & structures category of the Architecture MasterPrize, demonstrating that innovative design goes beyond aesthetics.
Urban Sun at Cooper Hewitt New York
Urban Sun at Cooper Hewitt New York
The exhibition "Design and Healing" at Cooper Hewitt in New York presents creative design responses to COVID-19, including our URBAN SUN. Open for public till 20 February, 2023.
Gerety Award
Gerety Award
The all female jury of agency and brand leaders selected URBAN SUN to win a Gerety award.