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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sidewalk Technology - Energy Collecting, Rain Water Distributing and Permeable…

In October 2013 George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus installed a 100 square foot pilot project of sidewalk capable of generating 400 watts peak capacity.  The panels were created by Onyx Solar, a Spanish company skilled in photo volcanic materials.  'The solar sidewalk is a great example of GW's commitment to innovation in design and sustainability and will be a reference for others to follow'.

There is a trend toward harvesting energy generated from footfalls to power low demand appliances such as lights.  For example, a pilot program in London to install power-generating tiles, made of recycled rubber with built in lights, from Pavegen in the stairs of a subway in London and the entrances to schools.  The tiles are to illuminate bus stop associated pedestrian crossings sounding noble enough.


When you pave a surface you eliminate the ability of those square feet to absorb rain water. Stormwater bioretention can be installed directly in the sidewalk. 

Here is a similar example collecting roof run-off here in Nashville, on Bedford Av.

Permeable sidewalks would also be fitting in a city like Nashville where flooding can occur.  From South of Broadway Strategic Master Plan Nashville, Tennessee Urban Design Associates (January 2013), stormwater mitigation 'can be greatly improved by reducing impermeable surfaces, incentivising green roofs, increasing tree cover, and creating new public space with permeable surfaces'. 



  1. Great post. This article is really very interesting and enjoyable. I think its must be helpful and informative. Thanks for sharing your nice post .
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  2. Thank you! In talking about sidewalks, cost is an issue. One way around this is to get creative…if storm water issues hold us back, put in storm water retention gardens or permeable concrete. If there is a barrier - work around it!