Getting around the streets of any busy city can be slow and frustrating. One concept for making it easier in London, however, would see pedestrians and cyclists moved below the streets. The London Underline concept proposes using the city's disused tunnels used as a network of cycle and footpaths.
Just over three years ago, a UK company looking to harvest the kinetic energy of pedestrians received its very installation order
. Since then we've seen Pavegen's tiles turn to the crowd
for school installs and being laid at the Paris Marathon
. Now the firm has partnered with Shell for its biggest undertaken so far – to give a run-down community soccer field in a Rio de Janeiro favela an off-grid power supply which benefits the whole community.
While the term "electrifying" can sometimes be used to describe breathtaking performance in sports, it's not often you'll find it used for marathon runners. Yet, that's precisely the word I'd use to describe this year's Paris Marathon, which took place on Sunday April 7. You see, as the feet of almost 40,000 runners hit a 25-meter (82-foot) installation of special tiles at the beginning of the 26-mile (42-km) course, kinetic energy was harvested and turned into usable electricity.
"Create electricity, just by walking" is an evocative statement, and one which surely warrants some attention in these eco-efficient times when the need to seek alternative energy sources is well understood. Pavegen
– a system for harvesting kinetic energy from foot traffic, and which the catchy soundbite belongs to – is now being put forward for crowd-funding through Kickstarter with the aim of raising enough money to fund two school projects, one in the U.S. and one in the U.K.
Can you imagine the power of 50,000 steps a day? Well, Laurence Kembell-Cook, the director of Pavegen Systems imagined it and created Pavegen tiles - a low carbon solution that aims to bring kinetic energy harvesting
to the streets. Not surprisingly, the tile is receiving a great deal of attention as a solution for power-hungry cities with a lot of walking traffic.