Is the answer to London’s congestion a network of underground cycle paths through disused tube tunnels? That’s the question being asked by design firm Gensler, and the idea has some legs.
They’ve called it the London Underline, and the project would see disused underground tunnels revamped and populated by pedestrians. At the mouth of each tunnel would be a line of Boris bikes for use, or you could simply walk down the allocated footpath. Simple enough, right?
And those legs I was talking about? Well, the idea just landed the ‘Best Conceptual Project’ gong at the London Planning awards and a lot of people are backing it.
Gensler even outlined that the project could be financially viable by introducing kinetic paving. That basically means that walking feet and bike tyre friction can be used to create energy. Not only that, but the disused tunnels – that not many people knew about – would also create prime real estate for shops.
Speaking to The Guardian, Gensler’s co-founder Ian Mulcahey posed these questions:
Could you turn that kinetic power into art pieces or advertising opportunities?
Could you tie it all together, perhaps with sponsorship and naming rights, so that it’s a self-funding exercise?
You’re in the Oystercard zone already because it’s connected to the underground, but you could put things in there that help it support itself.
We will see.
But, what do you think?