Solar Powered Pathways!

May 27, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Bike pathways just got a sustainable, solar-powered makeover! The Solar Veloroute — created by German architect Peter Kuczia — is a multifunctional photovoltaic pathway for cyclists and pedestrians. During the day, the solar canopy absorbs enough energy to power several charging stations (for electric bikes and mobile phones) and provide light during the night for cyclists and pedestrians!

Here at F&F, we love seeing innovative examples of sustainable city infrastructure. The Solar Veloroute is such a new and exciting phenomenon, so let’s learn a little bit more about it! Plus, we’d love to know — would you like to see Solar Veloroutes pop up in Aussie cities?

What is a Solar Veloroute?What is a Solar Veloroute?

What is a Solar Veloroute?

A ‘veloroute’ is a long-distance pathway designated for cyclists, and they’re mainly located across Europe. The Solar Veloroute is a sustainable, modern reinterpretation of the veloroute that’s great for people and the planet! 

The Solar Veloroute project, currently active in Switzerland and Dubai, is essentially a solar-powered bike tunnel with a semi-enclosed structure. The canopy, fit with solar panels, absorbs light during the day and protects riders and walkers from sun, wind and rain.

Here’s the coolest part. The energy created from just one kilometre of the Solar Veloroute structure could power 750 homes and more than 1,000 electric vehicles per year. Amazing, right? Another cool thing is that the structure is adaptable to any location and climatic zone, which means that it can be installed basically anywhere in the world.

The Growing Popularity of CyclingThe Growing Popularity of Cycling

The Growing Popularity of Cycling

As we slowly transition to more sustainable lifestyles, we often get stuck when it comes to transport. The truth is that most Australian cities aren’t built for cyclists and pedestrians — unlike some bike-friendly European cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam. The reality is that many of us have no choice but to use our petrol-guzzling cars to get from A to B. 

But what if it didn’t have to be this way? Here in Australia, cycling is undergoing a massive spike in popularity. During the lockdowns of 2020, bike retailers experienced almost a doubling of their average sales.

So, why the big take-up? It’s pretty simple — fewer cars on the roads means more space for people to cycle and feel safe while doing it. Unfortunately, as we get back to pre-pandemic levels of traffic, cyclists are once again in constant danger of being hit by heavy traffic.

Sustainable City InfrastructureSustainable City Infrastructure

Sustainable City Infrastructure

Lately, there’s been a lot more talk about sustainable infrastructure for our cities to reduce emissions, prevent air pollution, and radically change the way we think about transport. 

We know that we need to wean ourselves off petrol and diesel vehicles, increase the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), invest in more efficient and low-emissions public transport (like electric buses!) and get back to basics with walking and cycling. 

All of these steps require good city planning and low-emissions infrastructure; EVs need charging stations (in cities and rural areas), pedestrians need safe pathways with foliage for protection, and cyclists need separate, car-free pathways to ensure safety. 

Cycling Lane CopenhagenCycling Lane Copenhagen

What Are The Benefits of The Veloroute?

The Solar Veloroute basically combines all of these aspects into one amazing project. It generates massive amounts of clean electricity, encourages safe physical activity, and protects users from the harsh weather — both day and night. 

Most importantly, it reduces overall dependence on petrol-guzzling, polluting cars and provides a sustainable, healthy alternative for daily transport! 

Where would you love to see a Solar Veloroute in Australia? Let us know!


If you’re interested in sustainable innovation (like we are), make sure you check out The Eco Hub for more amazing stories:

World Solar Challenge 

South Korea To Build World's Largest Wind Farm!

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