London street generates electricity

The world’s first ‘smart street’ has opened in London’s West End. Newly pedestrianised, Bird Street features a walkway that generates electricity, a bench that removes nitrogen oxide, and a paint that purifies the air.

The future of a sustainable retail environment opened last week on Bird Street in the heart of London’s West End. Previously an underutilised outdoor space located off Oxford Street, Bird Street has been transformed into the world’s first ‘smart street’.

The pedestrianised street features a 10-square-metre walkway designed and installed by Pavagen. The UK company has made headlines in the past after it installed a solar-powered football pitch in Nigeria. For its new power-generating pavement in London, which powers nearby lights, Pavagen has even incorporated Bluetooth technology that lets pedestrians connect to an app to see how much electricity their footsteps generated — and even link up to reward systems like discounts and vouchers.

Joining Pavagen to showcase the future of the high street is Airlabs’ ClearAir bench, which removes nitrogen dioxide, and the coatings company Airlite, which created a paint that purifies the air from nitrogen oxide and bacteria.

According to Pavagen, Bird Street is a pilot scheme for future innovative and sustainable high street concepts and fits into the wider planned transformation of Oxford Street. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has already pledged to pedestrianise the Oxford Street Area in a bid to improve quality of life and dramatically reduce air pollution.

“It’s great to see innovative ‘smart street’ scheme delivered on Bird Street, the concepts and ideas of which could easily be adapted across London,” said Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at Transport for London. “I hope we can see further examples of this innovative 21st century thinking in the future.”


Image credit: Pavagen

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