Rubber Walkways Cushion Sidewalk Falls and Harvest Energy for City Infrastructure

Rubber walkways could replace concrete, which require a great deal of maintenance and are costly to repair. Better yet, they'll cushion your text-messaging-caused falls and could power streetlights and other communication tools!
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Rubber walkways could replace concrete, which require a great deal of maintenance and are costly to repair. Better yet, they'll cushion your text-messaging-caused falls and could power streetlights and other communication tools!
rubber walkways

Photo Credit: Pavegen

Most of us don't questions the validity of the concrete sidewalk. They've been around for quite a while now, but aren't necessarily the best solution for pedestrian walkways. They are actually quite inconvenient: they're costly to maintain, and the rise in extreme weather conditions are causing an increase of potholes. A viable solution, then, would be to replace these concrete walkways with a more resilient substance... like rubber. 

Two separate companies taking on the problem, reports PSFK -- rubber tile manufacturers Terrecon and Pavegen. While both are using 100 percent recycled material, each is using a slightly different approach.

Terrecon is focusing on function and comfort for the pedestrian, and eliminating the dangers of walking on cracked concrete. Pavegen is taking the technology route by using kinetic energy generated from walking on sidewalks to use for powering lights, advertisements and wireless communications.

It will probably be a while before the world's sidewalks are replaced with rubber, but it's certainly interesting to see how companies are working to make cities both more functional and comfortable for residents. 

Here's a video of Pavegen's technology as featured on Stephen Hawking's Brave New World.