Introduction

Momentum worked with McGregor Coxall on an idea for The City Centre’s Smart Infrastructure competition, which formed part of their programme for a smarter city. We sought to consider how a thriving commercial street between St. Paul’s and Bank used heavily by vehicles during weekday peak times, could be utilized during quieter periods to create a space where its function has the potential to change across the course of the week, or even the day.

Born out of this ambition came The Smart Carpet idea; a concept encapsulating the idea of a flexible street supported by a variety of paving modules that incorporate street furniture, LED lighting, power generation and the ability to use data to change the environment thorough an interactive tool supported by Umbrellium. Examples of energy paving technology have already been installed by Pavegen.

We proposed that during the peak traffic hours, this technology 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 could 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.

Our concept was the competition winning entry, demonstrating Momentum’s ability to consider technological innovation in optimizing space provision and think alternatively when approaching complex challenges.