Cycle paths are becoming an increasingly important element of a changing transport infrastructure within cities. This by nature stimulates the imaginations of designers and architects to think about the potential offered by expanding and using these paths. With this thought in mind, and drawing a strong influence from considerations about sustainability, architect Peter Kuczia has presented a “Solar Veloroute”. His concept refers to a multifunctional path for cyclists and pedestrians built with a modular structure. Its semicircular canopy not only offers protection, it also uses solar panels to produce electricity. The energy generated can be used for charging stations and night-time lighting as well as for feeding energy into the electricity grid. Kuczia says that one kilometre of the solar bicycle path could deliver about 2,000 MWh of power, enough to supply 750 households or more than 1,000 electric cars driving 11,000 km per year. The project was designed for local government authorities in Switzerland and Dubai, though it can be adapted to any location, climatic zone or conventional bikeway. The architect has included displays and posters with information about the benefits of using solar energy at a global level, helping the Solar Veloroute contribute informally to education.
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