The London Underline, a project by Gensler, proposes to turn London’s abandoned tube tunnels into living streets beneath the cities with parallel pedestrian paths and cycle ways and lined with cafés.
And though ambitious, the project – which won Best Conceptual Project at the London Planning awards – is being taken seriously in some quarters.
Gensler have even suggested ways of making the project financially viable, specifically though kinetic paving, which uses footfall and the friction generated by bike tyres to produce electricity.
‘Could you turn that [kinetic] power into art pieces or advertising opportunities?’ Gensler’s co-director, Ian Mulcahey, told the Guardian.
‘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.’