Award-winning concept transforms boardwalk into waterfall.

A Korean man named Gunwook Nam has come up with a way to capture kinetic energy generated by human foot traffic, and use it to power pumps that provide potable water. His system was a winner in the recent Re:construct competition sponsored by Urban Re:Vision. Urban Re:Vision, based in San Francisco, promotes sustainable materials and building practices. Nam’s “Human Pump” is a 40-foot-wide boardwalk that is placed in high-pedestrian-traffic areas. Kinetic energy from people traversing the walkway throughout the day is stored – either mechanically or electrically – until there is enough to pump water to the surface, basically creating a waterfall. While probably not the most practical water pumping system, it certainly is an interesting concept.