Brave New World - Gent, Belgium
Caroline Sohie (Arup) 
Gent-Sint-Pieters station’s futureproof reconversion relies on a series of successive mantras responding to changing conditions.

“Protection means transform, not repel.” The platform space has to be protected from strong rain and sun. Solar energy is harvested wherever possible on roofs to produce electricity through photovoltaics. Instead of letting rainwater flood the station, it is captured and used to produce hydrogen, which in turn powers the trains.

“People move…” We propose to harvest the energy people produce during their movement across public space and that is otherwise lost. Special floor tiles all throughout the station transform each step people set upon them into electricity.

“… and people use.” The electricity produced by all these means can then be used by station equipment and fixtures. From lighting to charging phones at benches while waiting for a train, people profit from energy they contributed to produce. This improves the comfort inside the station, notably while people wait for the next train.

 “Oasis for all.” We propose to transform the station to host a number of revolutionary chill-out bubbles and green oases. Between waiting for a train while reading a book in the library, getting together in the club, walk your dog in the animal park, or simply having a nap, the station takes care of every social activity. As such, it is to be taken in possession by the people at large, day and night.
Instead of letting climate change have a negative impact on our public space, we can harvest the surplus energy for our benefit and transform Gent-Sint-Pieters into a shared public space.
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