From Your Feet to the Light Bulb: Dupont Park Uses Kinetic Energy to Light Up Sidewalk

Power walking is taking on a whole new meaning near D.C.'s Dupont Circle.

A new "pocket park" on the south side of the circle is transforming people's footsteps into electricity.

The District Department of Transportation teamed up with the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) to create the Connecticut Avenue Overlook.

At the park, "smart tiles" capture and convert the power of shuffling feet. The energy is then stored in batteries that illuminate accent lights in the park from dusk to dawn.

"The idea is simple. It's to use the energy of a human footstep for electrical power. So, every time people walk, every step they make, we're generating around five watts of energy for the duration of their footstep," said Laurence Kemball-Cook, the founder and CEO of Pavegen.

Made from recycled polymer and truck tires, the pavers are durable and eco-friendly.

The pilot project was funded by a $200,000 DC Office of Planning Sustainable DC Innovation Challenge grant.

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