Gardens Flourish on Top of City Busses

February 1, 2011 by

Bus Roots is a living garden planted on the roofs of city buses. Similar to Spanish designer Marc Grañen’s Phytokinetic system of vehicle rooftop gardens, this conceptual project arose from New York City designer Marco Antonio Castro Cosio’s graduate thesis at New York University. Bus Roots aims to reclaim the forgotten space on the tops of city buses while enhancing the quality of urban life by proliferating green spaces on these unused bus roofs. The designer tested a prototype of the rolling gardens on the roof of the BioBus, a mobile science laboratory, and the first bus with an extensive green roof system. As of this writing, the moving rooftop garden has been growing for five months while traveling around New York City and as far as Ohio.

Bus Roots joins the ranks of mobile gardens planted on trucks, trains, and other roving sites. Cosio explains his project as an exercise in “nomadic urban agriculture.”

According to the “bustop” gardener, benefits include:
• Aesthetic Value
• Mitigation of Urban Heat Island Effect
• Acoustical and Thermal Insulation
• Storm Water Reduction and Management
• CO2 absorption
• Habitat Restoration
• Public Education and Recreation
• Reclaiming Forgotten Real Estate

Raising the Roots
Cosio estimates Bus Roots can add greatly to the city’s green space. Each public transit bus has a surface of 340 ft2., and The Metropolitan Transit Authority has a fleet of around 4,500 buses. Do the math.

“If a garden were planted on the roof of every one of the 4,500 buses in the city’s bus fleet,” calculates Cosio, his busses could add 35 acres of new rolling green space in the city.

For more info or to support the project, contact the designer.

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