SMART CARPET WIN News / Media / 11.10.2017

The City of London has remained an international trading centre for centuries and is one of the most successful cities in history. To maintain its status as a world leader in adaptability and innovation, the City of London Corporation (CoL) developed a Future City Initiative to celebrate its global competitive standing and drive economic growth. To realize this vision The City Centre (TCC), in partnership with the City of London Corporation and Brookfield Property Partners undertook a three-part ideas competition and a related series of events entitled ‘A Smarter City.’

The third and final installment of the series entitled Smart Infrastructure called for new ideas on security, energy and transport in the City of London. McGregor Coxall in collaboration with Momentum Transport developed the ‘Smart Carpet,’ a living, thinking surface treatment that adaptively responds to user demand. The Smart Carpet encapsulates the idea of a flexible street supported by a variety of paving modules that incorporates modular street furniture, LED lighting and the ability to generate energy and live data to manage street conditions. Using the west end of Cheapside as our study area, the concept utilises the latest communications technology and transport innovations.

During peak traffic hours The Smart Carpet would perform the typical street function with LED lighting defining the different road space for users, even lighting up zebra crossings. At lunchtime and in the evening, the street can be closed off to provide recreational and community space to hold workshops, exhibitions or space for exercise and leisure. At weekends the area could accommodate plug in stalls, seating and tables to offer flexible spaces for food markets, whilst being a desirable place to relax and socialise with food and drink. Larger scale events could also be held with the ability to install a stage and the functionality to support performances. The adaptability and flexibility means that the street can adapt to whatever demand is found and seeks to address the conflict between accommodating high levels of traffic during the peak hours, and providing a pleasant environment for various activities at other times. At just a stone’s throw from St Pauls, there is plenty of potential to draw in the life and vibrancy associated with a higher footfall.

Bristol studio Director Michael Cowdy said, ‘We are proud and delighted to have received this award and would like to thank The City Centre for providing a platform for ideas to be developed around a range of subjects. As the population and businesses continue to grow, more pressure will be placed on how infrastructure operates and how we interact with public places. Whilst this will bring its challenges, alternative approaches to the way we manage and design our infrastructure and making the most of advancing technology will enable us to adapt and look at things in a smarter way. We welcome any opportunity to explore innovative ways of improving the environment in which we live and work.’

Shortlisted entries for The Smart Infrastructure Ideas Competition are on display in The City Centre gallery from 6 October until 16 December.

Additional Information:

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