Buses have made strides in recent years to be more eco-friendly. So far it's been things like becoming more fuel friendly, but in the future we could see buses go a step further, taking unused spaces on their roofs and turning them into beautiful, rolling gardens.
The project is called "Bus Roots" and it was conceived by New York City designer Marco Antonio Castro Cosio for his graduate thesis at New York University. He calls it "nomadic urban agriculture," and a prototype has already hit the streets courtesy of the BioBus, a mobile science lab that has traveled between New York and Ohio.
The wasted roof space, approximately 340 square feet, has been turned into a series of shallow trays filled with growth material and various plants for those to enjoy as it rolls by.
The concept is much like the trend of creating urban gardens via the roofs of skyscrapers. There are a host of benefits to creating bus top gardens — and not just the fact they could be beautiful. The added greenery uses forgotten space and addresses some of the urban heat island effect and provides acoustic insulation. There's also the aspect of carbon dioxide absorption and rainwater reduction and management.
Plus, there is the educational factor to consider. Imagine fleets of buses in your city or town being covered with hardy plant life that provides a measurable difference in the view, the heat, the carbon footprint and in reminding people there are innovative ways to go green.
Who knew the lowly city bus could become such a role model?
For those living around New York City, you can see the Bio Bus, with the Bus Roots project in place at the MakerFaire at the end of September.