Global design and planning firm, Gensler have won the award for Best Conceptual Project at the London Planning Awards, hosted by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, for its innovative and ambitious idea of creating the first city-wide alternative transport network in derelict underground tunnels.
Gensler’s vison will see London’s disused underground lines turned into a dynamic network of pedestrian walkways, cycle lanes and cultural and retail spaces, all run using kinetic energy technology.
Ian Mulcahey, co-director of Gensler London, says: “Now London has reached the highest level of population in its history we need to think creatively about how to maximise the potential of our infrastructure. The adaptation of surplus and underutilised tube and rail tunnels could provide a quick and simple addition to our infrastructure network.”
Currently, with its ever growing population, London is struggling to cope with its expanding transport needs for pedestrians, cyclists and tube travellers, and is also in need of new types of public and community space, as well as affordable retail, commerce and entertainment spaces. The disused subterranean spaces present an excellent option for new uses.
Gensler designer Trevor To explains: “Gensler’s proposal brings back an ignored part of the city through the collective efforts of its citizens. By harnessing kinetic energy of everyone’s footsteps, a whole new urban space is unlocked underneath the city. This self-sustaining approach to urban infrastructure is key to a carbon-neutral community, and London could lead the world once again in merging tradition with innovation to create a better future.”
The electrical supply from human footfall would support the underground cycle ‘superhighway’ and would feed London’s appetite for alternative transport and their insatiable urban curiosity.
WAN AWARDS Future Projects category is now open for entries. Register before 28th February to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount.