The world’s top athletes won’t be the only ones lighting up London this summer as the city gets set to open a pioneering walkway that is illuminated using the power of human footsteps.
With the widespread use of energy-efficient technology set to be one of the main features of London 2012, the Games’ organisers have unveiled plans for the footbridge linking West Ham Station with the Olympic Park.
The bridge is set to be fitted with 12 energy harvesting floor tiles, each of which are likely to receive more than 12 million foot impressions over the course of the summer festival of sport. This will be enough to generate a total of 72 million joules of energy – enough to charge 10,000 mobile phones for an hour.
This power will be used to illuminate the walkway through the night, meaning spectators and workers will be able to travel to and from the Olympic Park without having to worry about it getting too dark to make the trip.
Spectators will also be able to go online with their smartphones and find out how much renewable energy is being created by the bridge at the time they are walking across it, with organisers also set to use this information to better manage pedestrian traffic flow at peak times.
Unveiling the innovative design, David Stubbs, head of sustainability at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said: “We want people coming to the Games to be able to do their bit for the environment and this is a great example where, literally in a few steps, people can actively contribute towards making these truly sustainable Games.”
Within the Olympic Park itself, a state-of-the-art Energy Centre will provide efficient low-carbon heating and cooling systems for all of the main sporting venues within that zone and will also provide eco-friendly energy to a number of surrounding communities.