Green Your Life

Published on September 26th, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan

Gardens On Buses Purify City Air — Phyto Kinetic Project

We love plants because they meet our eyes as flowing forms, they greet our noses with fresh aromas, and they purify the air we breathe. We appreciate buses when we need to get from here to there in urban areas. Landscape artist Marc Granen’s prototype Phyto Kinetic project in Spain joins these two indispensable parts of life by installing gardens on the roofs of buses to improve urban ecosystems and purify city air.

Green project Phyto Kinetic

Urbanites need to send a lot of love up to these hardy gardens. This is some task to clear and clean the air arising from concrete jungles.
Perhaps other vehicles will share the work and employ these rooftop gardens in the future. The splashes of color and aroma from the cruising gardens improve the scene of urban life. CNET has more:

According to initial tests, the Phyto Kinetic project apparently serves as an energy-saving alternative too, as it keeps the buses about 38 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than a regular one. Basically, hydroponic foam is used in place of soil as a base for the plants as it reduces the weight put on the bus. Various plants suitable for a country’s climate are then placed on top of the foam. To prevent water from leaking into the interior of the bus, the rooftop is waterproofed and designed to capture condensation from air conditioning for irrigation purposes.

I had the same thoughts as CNET’s Shannon Siow when I saw this story:

At first I looked at this creation landscape artist and thought, the poor plants, taking up the slack for urban air. Then I thought, well purifying the air is a valuable service. Those plant spirits lending their virtues all around is helpful. This in another part of the story. The bus below uses less energy. The plants keep the top of the bus cool and cooling from the top down works great.


Finding the balance in urban life, all of life, enjoying urban environments by bringing nature to the city is key. What a balance New York or any city might have if city planning could employ Marc Cosio’s vision. “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 buses could add 35 acres of new rolling green space in the city.”

This is not the first time we have seen this “exercise in ‘nomadic urban agriculture’” as described by Marco Antonio Castro Cosio’s graduate thesis at New York University. Cosio considers it a reclaiming of forgotten and lost spaces: Bus Roots joins the ranks of mobile gardens planted on trucks, trains, and other roving sites. Cosio explains his project

Benefits
• 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

Urban Gardens






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About the Author

is an Organic Farmer, Classical Homeopath, Art Teacher, Creative Writer, Anthropology Studies, Natural Medicine Activist, Journalist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.



  • Great idea – exciting to see that it’s actually being done somewhere. It might become even more effective with vining plants, since they’d spill over the edges and create a lot more leafy, breathing surface area though they’d surely need a little pruning 🙂

    Another thought is to integrate stable “geodesic” forms like octahedrons and tetrahedrons into the framing. Not only are these shapes eye-catching but they’re incredibly stable even in the face of wind and movement. Here’s a youtube of a wind test of one of my own designs based on the octahedron. bit.ly/1zVg3jM

  • Wow! truly a creative idea. Taking a walk and seeing flowers, plants, and beautiful landscaping is an effective stress reliever that brings happiness and peace of mind.

    Being Charleston native, I have feel the spirit of the wild vegetation as I look at the marsh in Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms. Even some of the Homes for sale downtown charleston sc are decked out with plants and natural ornaments. I would have to say, there is nothing like the sight of nature to brighten your day and keep you from too much stress. And yes, putting up a garden on the roof of buses is a welcoming sight

  • Wow! truly a creative idea. Taking a walk and seeing flowers, plants, and beautiful landscaping is an effective stress reliever that brings happiness and peace of mind.

    Being Charleston native, I have feel the spirit of the wild vegetation as I look at the marsh in Wild Dunes in Isle of Palms. Even some of the Homes for sale downtown charleston sc are decked out with plants and natural ornaments. I would have to say, there is nothing like the sight of nature to brighten your day and keep you from too much stress. And yes, putting up a garden on the roof of buses is a welcoming sight

  • Great repost! We are the original source of this story which CNET reposted from someone who got it from our original story;

    http://www.urbangardensweb.com/2013/07/24/phyto-kinetic-green-roofs-for-city-buses-and-improved-urban-ecosystem/

    I visited Spain to research and write this and am photographed atop the bis with the designer.

  • Great repost! We are the original source of this story which CNET reposted from someone who got it from our original story;

    http://www.urbangardensweb.com/2013/07/24/phyto-kinetic-green-roofs-for-city-buses-and-improved-urban-ecosystem/

    I visited Spain to research and write this and am photographed atop the bis with the designer.

    • Thanks. Got your tweet and updated the post. Cheers!

      • Thanks Zachary, but as of Oct 1, looks like the post is the same, has not been updated…

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