Sustainability Problem: Urban Greening
While urban green space is important for people’s health and well-being, it is getting harder to come by with rising real estate prices and development.
Sustainability Technology: Solar Reflectors
Idled underground space can be transformed to public parks by creative solar technology. The Lowline in the Lower East Side of New York City will be the world’s first underground park with “remote skylight”.
- The 60,000 square feet space will be illuminated by an innovative solar technology: above ground, parabolic collector are set up to reflect and gather sunlight at one focal point; the sunlight is then transmitted to a reflective surface on the distributor dish underground through an intricate system of mirrors and tubes.
- The technology will transmit the necessary wavelengths of light to support photosynthesis, enabling plants and trees to grow. There are already 50 species of plants growing in the park.
- The solar reflectors on the roof will track the sun all day and electricity is not needed when sunlight is available.
Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology:
- City Department of Design and Construction
- Businesses and residents in the community
- General public and community organizations
First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology:
- Procure underground sites with potentials and benefits of urban greening.
- Set up model lab as proof of concept of the technology to convince and educate stakeholders.
- Obtain supports from the city and local communities, both in terms of funding and permitting.