The West End ‘smart-space’ that will harness kinetic and solar energy


Transport for London has announced plans to fund a series of street improvement initiatives, including harvesting kinetic and solar energy in the city’s West End.

TFL are funding The New West End Company to turn a traffic-free space in London into a ‘smart-space’ which harvests kinetic and solar energy. Squeezed just between the busy shopper’s bustle of Oxford Street, Bird Street is small intermediary road which will soon take on a new personality.

“Materials in roofs, canopies and pavements would generate the energy, and would be integrated into an enjoyable public space that will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists” says the company, which hopes to circumvent the area’s environmental issues.

Oxford Street is notorious for its pollution as well as its commercial allure, so this renewable and sustainable pedestrianisation is a welcome transformation of the area.

TFL’s Future Streets Incubator Fund supports independent projects whose aims are to reduce the capital’s pollution, congestion, and waste output. The New West End Company is one of several new businesses that have secured funding.

Other impending projects include:

  • A new noise-absorbing barrier near the A12 Blackwall Tunnel.
  • A green boardwalk on Lavington Street

London is experiencing a gradual conversion which may, in a few years, make London one of the greenest cities in the world. By March this year, stagecoach companies responsible for London’s buses will ensure that 3,000 vehicles will run on waste fats and biodiesel, for example. These renewable oils are already being trialled in the capital.

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport said that the mayor’s office looked forward to backing creative initiatives that aligned themselves with the goal for a cleaner capital. “Given the growing pressures on our road network to move people and goods, and tackle air pollution, we need to be evermore inventive in how we use our limited road space,” she said. “These worthy winners are just a few examples of how we are trialling new approaches that could bring big benefits to roads across the city.”