‘Intelligent’ West End street and noise pollution cuts on list of latest London smart projects
London’s streets are set to become smarter than ever thanks to the launch of several new projects from TfL.
The capital’s transport organisation has revealed four schemes that will be trialled across London as part of its future streets incubator fund, part of the Mayor of London’s £4bn Road Modernisation Plan.
This new projects include a scheme to collect kinetic energy from shoppers on a side-street in the West End and an all-new delivery consolidation service in Holborn to cut down on pollution.
The new ‘Intelligent Street’ in the West End will be located at Bird Street, a traffic-free space just off Oxford Street, which will look to generate energy from the sun and pavement movement using newly-developed technology.
The street will use materials in roofs, canopies and pavements to generate the energy, which will then look to power a new public space that will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, improving the local air quality.
Also planned is a noise-reducing barrier using revolutionary new materials to cut down on noise and air pollution in the A12 Blackwall Tunnel, and creating a flexible boardwalk to transform Lavington Street in Southwark into a pedestrian boulevard, encouraging more people to walk and cycle safely through the area.
Lastly, the scheme looks to launch a consolidation project for businesses across the Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles areas, creating a central platform for ordering everyday items like milk and newspapers, which will then be carried out using electric vehicles or cargo bikes, greatly cutting down on delivery-related greenhouse gas emissions.
“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,” said Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring. “These worthy winners are just a few examples of how we are trailing new approaches that could bring big benefits to roads across the city.”
The news is London’s latest step towards becoming a technology-friendly metropolis, as the capital has become part of several major projects recently.
Last month, the Royal Borough of Greenwich has been signed up to the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse programme, part of a €25m pan-European effort looking to demonstrate how new technology can help develop and improve the lives of residents in a growing city.
This will see the River Thames used as a renewable energy source to provide affordable heat to local homes, and smart parking bays that aim to optimise parking spaces and help drivers find a space quickly and conveniently, as well as a pilot of electric vehicles for local deliveries and car sharing.
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