An underutilized path in London’s West End has been transformed into the world’s first energy-harvesting smart street – complete with Pavegen‘s power-generating pavement. Walkers traversing Bird Street can connect to an app and see how much electricity their footsteps generated.
Pavegen installed a 107-square-foot array in Bird Street to harness and convert the power of footsteps into electricity, which will supply energy for lights and bird sounds in the area. Bluetooth Low-Energy transmitters are also part of this array, so that users can interact with the array via apps. People can see their steps on the energy-harvesting pavement translate into discounts, vouchers, and clean electricity.
Pavegen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook said in a statement, “With installations in Washington, D.C. and at vital transport hubs including Heathrow, being able to demonstrate how our technology can bring to life the retail shopping experience is a vital step for us. As retailers compete with online, technologies like ours make being in the busy high street more exciting and rewarding for people and brands alike.”
Other sustainable technologies on Bird Street include Airlabs’ CleanAir bench, which sucks nitrogen dioxide from the air to create a clean air bubble. Airlite air-purifying paint was also used in Bird Street. Pop-up shops offering shopping or dining beckon visitors. The outdoor space is meant to offer a vision for healthier urban areas.
Transport for London Director of City Planning Alex Williams said the innovative Bird Street concepts could be brought to other areas of London, bringing 21st century thinking to improve urban streets.
Images courtesy of Pavegen