Brisbane’s 470-meter Solar-powered Footbridge

A 470-meter solar-powered footbridge recently opened in Brisbane’s Central Business District, writes Inhabitat. The footbridge, designed by Cox Architects, an Australian firm, cost $63 million. Approximately 36,000 pedestrians and bikers are expected to use the bridge per year. 

According to Inhabitat, the LED lighting system is designed for maximum energy efficiency and will be used for festivals along the river. The LED lighting system is powered by 84 solar panels mounted on the bridge, which can “generate a daily output of 100KWh and an average yearly output of 38MWh.”

The solar panel system will provide enough energy to light the bridge in most instances. When the bridge is fully illuminated, it must receive 25 percent of its energy from the central grid. During the day, howerver, the bridge will return energy to the central grid.

TreeHugger added that the footbridge is expected to save 37.8 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Read the article and see more photos.

This project is a good example of “multiple use” or green infrastructure discussed by Ken Smith, ASLA, in a recent interview. The footbridge not only enables non-automotive access to Brisbane’s downtown area, but also creates energy.

2 thoughts on “Brisbane’s 470-meter Solar-powered Footbridge

  1. Jack 11/09/2009 / 9:31 am

    36,000 per year? Does that number warrant the need for a 63 milllion dollar bridge?

  2. Pabart 09/28/2010 / 7:18 pm

    On the figures nominated (36,000), perhaps there could be a case to argue that the bridge is ‘overkill’.
    But this is a case of the infrastructure paralleling / preceeding development. Unfortunately the article only trumpets ‘the bridge’;
    but it is a bridge which gives access to an area within 2 kilometres of the city centre which will become a hotspot for urban renewal.
    It is also another way to cross the river which historically has divided the city
    It is a bridge that gives easy and direct access to a world class art gallery complex
    It is a bridge that allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river in comfort, able to enjoy the view and the experience, without the accompanying traffic.
    Unfortunately the article triumphs the bridge – which is a revelation; but it is the potential of the bridge which is the best part of it.

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