Innovation That Matters

Smart street

Bird Street offers a sustainable shopping experience in the UK

Travel & Tourism

London makes a step forward in sustainable shopping, with the opening of the world’s first ‘smart street’, known as ‘Bird Street’.

London’s first sustainable smart street has opened its doors near Oxford Street. The innovation, the first of its kind in the world, opened June 30, offering customers a retail experience of the future.

New West End Company and pop-up provider Appear Here, have teamed up to come up with a street that has streetlights powered by your footsteps and air purifiers, among much more.

New West End Company reached out to a number of eco-friendly innovators, to get them to contribute to the venture by providing a feature. Bird Street has now been transformed into an oasis of fashion and sustainability.

It includes, PaveGen technology which generates electricity from pedestrian movement, Airlite’s revolutionary air purifying paint, alongside a curated collection of pioneering pop-ups. The pop-up retailers have been delivered in partnership with Appear Here, which further transforms Bird Street into a revolving mix of cutting edge fashion, technology and alfresco dining.

It is hoped the pilot project will bring something new to the capital’s most famous shopping district and those wanting to contribute to the venture can still apply to join. The pilot runs until the end of the year and retailers can be housed in coloured pods designed by Harry Dobbs Design.

The name Bird Street comes from the appearance, where the pop-up pods resemble origami birds lining the road. It’s traffic-free which means revellers are free to enjoy the experience to its full potential without any interruptions.

Sustainability is a hot topic for governments across the globe and this is just one of many innovations trying to hit the mark. London in particular is trying to become more environmentally friendly, with the introduction of recycling bins across the city and the promotion of bringing your own bag when you shop. Low emissions come into force soon, where vehicles will have to meet strict guidelines to drive in the centre of town. Tours are already starting up to get people excited about becoming more sustainable. Other nations are already ahead of the UK, with places like Sweden offering a shopping experience that focuses on re-purposed goods and reselling everything.

Shopping amongst other things, is definitely heading down the sustainable route and it won’t be long before purifying air becomes the norm and solar panels become more readily available, powering everything from cars to trains and more. What other industries will now evolve to become more sustainable?

Update: as of July 2018, Bird Street is no longer active.




Download PDF