With the recent rise of environmental awareness, green projects like vertical gardens, urban farming, and guerrilla gardening are a few phenomena that have come up to counter the vastness of the typical concrete jungle of a metropolitan area. Due to the green movement community vastly increasing, landscape artist Marc Grañén and Grupo IRACO decided to take the movement to another level by using vehicle roofs as flower beds and turn unused space into little green oases.
To make rooftop gardens on vehicles possible, Grañén uses IRACO’s Aquapro SkyGardens, which are phytokinetic gardens made of aquaponic foam embedded in a steel grid. The flower bed is kept moist by a sedum carpet of small succulents that are planted along with small shrubs and ferns, covering the whole area with a protective mesh. What very interesting is HOW the plants are watered; this is done by the waste from the air conditioning unit on the vehicle’s roof. Plus, the buses can be cooled down by 38.5° F through rooftop gardens, resulting in saving on air conditioning usage.
The project’s goal is to increase the number of green areas resulting in reducing carbon dioxide emission and increasing overall vegetation and biodiversity in the world’s most traffic-congested cities (looking at you, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, NYC, etc.). For example, Barcelona has over 1,000 buses operating throughout the city daily, and with a rooftop capacity of approximately 323 square feet per bus, this would add about 323,000 square feet of additional green space.
Grañén hopes to include all types of vehicles with the moving gardens feature. He has a prototype on a bus going 40mph and a van going 60mph on the highway and the bus currently runs on the streets of L’Estartit — near Girona, Spain. Grañen is looking into working with several caravan builders to possibly implement rooftop gardens on their vehicles as well. Just imagine looking out of your windows from your car and finding nothing but an assortment of rooftop gardens on top of most of the neighboring cars. Gardens. Gardens EVERYWHERE!
- These buses have gardens on their roofs (grist.org)
- Urban greenery sprouting atop city buses in Spain (eco-business.com)
- Green roofs aren’t just for buildings… Now they’re for buses too (greenerideal.com)