London has just reached the highest population level in its history. Is it in response to the problem of motorway traffic congestion that the jury of the London Planning Awards has just awarded the prize for the best conceptual project to that of the American design and architecture agency Gensler, based on kinetic energy developed by the company PaveGen? A concept that proposes to rehabilitate London's old disused underground tunnels into pedestrian and cycle paths while producing electricity!
The mission of the London Planning Awards is to promote initiatives to improve the daily lives of Londoners, including the impact of road congestion, traffic jams and therefore air quality in the British capital. The Gensler agency is proposing to equip the old underground tunnels with cycle paths and pedestrian walkways with kinetic surfacing: transforming the kinetic energy of pedestrians' steps into electricity, based on sensors developed by the company PaveGen.
Renewable energy collectors
The technology developed by this English company since 2009 by the Kemball-Cook family is based on "piezoelectricity", a renewable energy produced by the pressure of one body on another. These slabs are designed with recycled truck tyres and concrete polymer, which generate electricity by the weight of a person exerting pressure on them: between 4 and 7 watts per step, depending on the weight.
These slabs therefore collect the energy generated by the pressure of the steps and transform it into electrical energy, renewable indefinitely .
The technology has already proved its worth, notably in September 2014 in Brazil. A new kind of football pitch was inaugurated there: the first human-powered stadium in the world! Its operation, including its lighting, was provided by 200 plates installed under the artificial turf of the pitch which powered six LED floodlights.
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The project therefore proposes to transform former unused London Underground tunnels into cycle paths. The proposal does not stop there, as the road itself would be kinetic paved. The aim: to reduce traffic congestion and, above all, pollution in London.
This new system would reuse two old sections of the "Piccadilly Line" and the "Jubilee Line".
As the site reminds us Slate.frThe initiative is reminiscent of others, this time in France, which had been greeted with scepticism. The former UMP candidate for mayor of Paris, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, had proposed, during the municipal campaign, to transform the abandoned subway stations in Paris into swimming pools and concert halls. At the time, RATP considered this proposal almost impossible to implement.