Solar Park South is a 10 km research campus and recreational route. For visitors, the route is the destination. For researchers, cooperation with farmers, artists and engineers the Solar Park South is a meeting place and a testing ground. The campus is a melting pot and drives innovation. The timeline of the strategy shows the growth and the synergy between several projects over a time span of 20 years.
Campus & tourist destination Traveling by bike is different. In the absence of combustion engines, tourists are invited see the landscape from a new perspective. Along the Solar Park South tourists and researchers are moving by bike or on foot. The balance of the harsh hillsides and graceful ribbon of old highway is a fitting backdrop for this new research and recreation zone.
The visitor experiences highlights in the landscape, as well as the small HUB’s that will grow along the campus-route over the years. At these pavilions along the route you can borrow an (electric)bike or recharge your battery. Other HUB’s provide research locations, café’s or other amenities.
New channels of communication and investigation are developed through cooperative projects. Partnerships between universities, companies, artists and residents are made. The campus offers a platform to anyone who wants to conduct research on sustainable technologies. The introduction of the bike route, the cooperation between a bicycle manufacturer en the installation of the first solar panels is the start-up of the campus. This provides the basis from where any initiative can grow.
Three sections The landscape can occupy you for an hour or a week. It is divided in three sections, each of which fosters a specific form of collaborative research. Trails run parallel to the old highway and through the three sections of the landscape.
The Agricultural Zone is a cultivated landscape mixed with solar farms. Experiments may address hydroponic food production, algae basins, animal agriculture symbiosis, or bio fuels. A canopy of solar panels provides shading along the route. At the Central HUB, a water ballast funicular connects the park to the train station in Favazzina.
The Recreation-scape offers eight scenic trails articulated by kinetic sculptures utilizing clean energy. In the forest are many cabins for artist and researcher in residence, providing a peaceful working environment. The research headquarters is the central HUB of the park, with laboratories, exhibition spaces, and accommodations. Here the landscape dominates the route, seducing you to go explore.
At the Engineering Canyon the old and new highways meet. The park route continues underneath the viaduct, along an immense wind turbine. This section gives panoramic views into the valley where the stream flows through an orchard of wind turbines from all eras.