Is a Natural Glow in the Dark Road the Solution to a Problem Faced by Much of Rural China?

A team from Tianjin University recently scooped an international innovation prize for coming up with a natural way to create glow in the dark roads in China's rural areas

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10:14 PM HKT, Thu December 6, 2018 1 mins read

We wrote a few pieces looking at the Chinese entries at this year’s World Architecture Festival in the run-up to last week’s event in Amsterdam — check out the pretty pictures from those below — but in the end China didn’t come away with much in terms of prizes.

One notable win however, was from a group of Tianjin University students who triumphed in the “Daylight Investigations” category of the International Velux Awards, held under the WAF umbrella. Their entry was an innovative solution to a problem faced across rural China: that of poorly lit (or more likely completely unlit) pathways and roads that children in remote areas must navigate to get to and from school each day.

It’s an issue that Tencent recently addressed with an addictive WeChat game:

The team from Tianjin University — Yuhan Luo, Di Lan, Yuan Liu and Yusong Liu proposed, “introducing a small amount of inexpensive fluorite to the pathways,” according to the Velux Award press release.

“The bright colours of the stones will glow for several hours at night when irradiated by daylight during the day,” the release continues. “Almost all provinces in China have large fluorite mines and the coarse processing of the raw stone into pavement material makes is economically feasible for poor rural areas.”

That’s a pretty cool idea. And it beat more than 600 entries from 57 countries to scoop the prize, which aims to give such projects international recognition.

If it’s as feasible as proposed, here’s hoping it can be put into action soon.

More on China at WAF:

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