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The London Underline

The London Underline – Gensler’s vision for London’s unused spaces and surplus infrastructure, The London Underline, would offer London the world’s first network of subterranean pedestrian and bike paths.

The London Underline won ‘Best Conceptual Project’ at the 2015 London Planning Awards. Momentum Transport Planning and Pavegen consulted on Gensler’s design.

The design would see disused London Underground tunnels transformed into parallel byways – one for cyclists and the other for pedestrians – to ease congestion on the streets above.

It would not be directly linked to ground level but would be accessed from Tube stations – Boris bikes would be available for hire at the entrances.

Currently, the plans suggest using tunnels between Green Park and Charing Cross Road and between Holborn and Aldwych – right in the heart of the city – although they say there are plenty of others that could be adapted.

With the highest population in its 2,000-year history, London is having to think creatively about maximizing the utility of existing infrastructure.

Running beneath London is an extensive system of dormant tube tunnels, exchanges and stations that Gensler envisions transforming into a dynamic network of bike and pedestrian paths, as well as cultural and retail spaces.

Designed collaboratively with Momentum Transport Planning and Pavegen, The London Underline harnesses the kinetic energy of pedestrian footfall to generate its own energy, creating a vital link between urban infrastructure and the people that use it, and showing how integral sustainable transit is to a vibrant public realm.

The 2015 London Planning Awards selected The London Underline as its “Best Conceptual Project.”

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