Billboards Turned Into Urban Gardens!

October 29, 2012 by

I mean how cool would it be to drive, walk, or fly by a billboard converted to an urban garden overflowing with verdant foliage? If the folks behind the Urban Air project are successful, they will be transforming advertising billboards into suspended bamboo gardens in cities across the globe.

Urban Air is the brainchild of LA-based artist Stephen Glassman, who first caught international attention in the early 1990’s when he began creating freeform, large-scale bamboo installations in urban sites devastated by the Rodney King Riots, and two Los Angeles, California natural disasters, the Malibu Fires (one from which I was evacuated in 1970) and the Northridge Earthquake. These works became local community symbols of resiliency as well as a springboard for the permanent, award winning projects he creates today–art for art’s sake in a social context. His latest project, Urban Air, spings directly from those earlier siteworks.

The illustration above shows Urban Air’s individual components: existing structure, planters w/ bamboo, rain curtain/water element, and the interactivity with web and smartphones.

The project team been working with structural and environmental engineers, planners, technologists, billboard fabricators, bamboo growers, plumbers, and outdoor advertising specialists to design and produce a successful full scale working prototype that will also generate a system “kit” to enable any standard billboard to be easily transformed to a green, linked, urban forest.

Check out Urban Air’s Kickstarter page and help support this green idea! They’re hoping to raise $100,000 and at this posting the pot is up to $6350 with 160 backers. Urban Air has been designed, engineered, and has secured a billboard to carry its flagship project, and they hope to be towering above the Los Angeles freeways in the new year.

Their vision doesn’t stop there. Upon a successful launch, it’s their plan and intention “to transform the steel and wood of outdoor advertising into the infrastructure of urban sustainability in cities around the globe–actively, publicly, and collectively generating a green global future.”

Hat tip to: ArrestedMotion and ArtSchoolVets.



  1. maya said:

    Lovely idea.
    I hope the admins realize what an attractive and healthy contribution these ideas are!
    great blog!

    — October 31, 2012 @ 07:39

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