Can you implement green roofs on bus stops?

Green roofs are becoming a popular way to make cities more sustainable. They provide natural cooling, help clean the air, and can even be used as a place for people to plant gardens.

But what about the poor bus stops? Can green roofs be installed on them too?

Green bus stops in Utrecht“Green bus stops in Utrecht” by uitdragerij is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

It turns out that they can! Bus stop designers in a few European countries have created green-roofed bus stops that are both functional and beautiful. With more and more cities looking for ways to become more sustainable, it’s likely that we’ll see more of these bus stops in the future.

The green roofs keep the bus stop cooler in the summer, provide a place for plants to grow, and collect rainwater for nearby plants or a rainwater harvesting system.

And the best part is that these green-roofed bus stops are actually very cheap to make! This means they can be installed in a lot of places, and the benefits they provide can be enjoyed by everyone.

What types of plants can be used on a bus stop green roof?

There are many types of plants that can be used on a bus stop green roof, but it’s usually a good idea to choose plants that are native or adapted to the area, so they can survive on their own.

In addition to being sustainable, green roofs are also a great way to promote biodiversity. By using a variety of plants on the roof, you can create a habitat for different types of animals.

Bus stop rooftops are limited in space, so it’s best to choose plants that don’t grow too tall. Taller plants generally need a deeper soil layer to support their roots, so this is not ideal for a bus stop roof.

Because plants like grass and succulents don’t take up too much space, they’re often used on bus stop green roofs. The goal is not to create a garden, but to provide a little bit of greenery and some shade for people waiting at the bus stop.

Here are a few plants that are great for green roofs on bus stops:

Lavender

Lavender is a great plant for green roofs because it doesn’t need a lot of water and it’s very tolerant of drought. It also has a lovely smell, which will make waiting for the bus a little more pleasant.

Rosemary

Like lavender, rosemary is drought tolerant and doesn’t need much water or maintenance. It’s also very aromatic, so it provides a pleasant smell for anyone waiting at the bus stop.

Sage

If you’re looking for a plant that’s a little more unusual, you can try planting sage. It’s an attractive plant that grows well in dry climates and tolerates the poor soil quality of a rooftop.

Chamomile

Chamomile’s pretty yellow flowers will brighten up the roof of your bus stop, and the plant is drought tolerant and easy to care for.

Oregano

Oregano is another aromatic plant that doesn’t need a lot of water. Its flowers are pretty, and when the leaves fall onto the soil of the rooftop they help improve its quality.

There are endless possibilities for plants that can be used on a bus stop green roof. With a little creativity, you can find the perfect plants to suit your needs and the needs of your community.

It always makes sense to choose colorful aromatic plants. Because of their look and smell, these plants make people happy.

There are many types of plants that can be used on a bus stop green roof, but it’s usually a good idea to choose plants that are native or adapted to the area, so they can survive on their own.

One thing is important to mention allergies. Bus stop green roofs are not the place to plant highly allergenic plants. Certain plants for a period of the year or during their lifetime can exacerbate allergies.

Also overplanting with flowers may lead to pollen allergies. So, careful consideration should be given to the types of plants used. If you’re unsure about a particular plant, it’s always best to do some research and/or work with a qualified professional.

Because bus stops are the locations where a lot of people from different walks of life come together, it’s important to make sure the plants you choose are not only beautiful but also safe for everyone.

The benefits of green roofs on bus stops

There are many benefits to installing green roofs on bus stops. Some of these benefits include:

Aesthetically pleasing design

Most cities are nothing but concrete and asphalt. They don’t have much in the way of greenery. Installing green roofs on bus stops can help to change this. Green roofs can add some much-needed color and life to these places.

By providing plants for people to enjoy, these bus stops can help promote a greener mindset in cities. This is especially important when it comes to the younger generation who will be growing up with this type of design all around them.

Reduces urban heat island effect

The heat island effect is a phenomenon that occurs when cities become hotter than the countryside due to man-made development. It can make cities uncomfortably hot, and it’s one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in urban environments.

Having green roofs on bus stops helps partially minimize this by providing natural shade for people waiting at the stop. The plants also help to cool the air, making it more comfortable to stay under the stop for a while.

Insulation from the sun

Although most bus stops are in the shade, they are made of materials that can quickly heat up in the sun. This can be very uncomfortable for people waiting at the stop, especially during the summer months.

Green roofs help to insulate the bus stop from the sun’s rays, keeping it cooler and more comfortable. They also protect people from UV radiation exposure by creating an extension of the shade.

The cooling effect that comes from green roofs is not only because they block sunlight, but also because of the evapotranspiration of the plants. This process is similar to how the human body cools itself through sweating and evaporating sweat off of our skin.

Shelter from inclement weather

As we have said, most bus stops are open to the elements although they might have a roof. This means that people will get wet and cold when it rains or snows, which isn’t very pleasant for them and increases the risk of them getting sick.

Green roofs can help provide shelter from inclement weather by keeping the bus stops well insulated from the rain and wind.

Provides habitat for the wildlife

We have altered the natural environment so much that it’s hard to find a place where wildlife can thrive. Green roofs provide an opportunity for habitats to be created in the city, which can help bring back some of the biodiversity that we’ve lost.

Birds and insects can use the plants on top of the bus stop as a place to live and breed.

Reduces air pollution

Air pollution is a huge problem in cities, and it’s only getting worse. One of the ways to help reduce air pollution is by installing green roofs on bus stops.

The plants on top of the stop act as a natural filter for the air. They trap harmful particles from the air and release clean oxygen back into the environment. This helps to improve the air quality in the surrounding area.

Diverts or Collects rainwater

Plants on green roofs can also help with stormwater management by reducing water run-off into sewers during heavy rains. 

The green roofs also have a rainwater harvesting system that collects water to divert to the nearby plants or rainwater harvesting system. This is a great way to reuse some of the water that falls on the roof.

Most bus stops are located near a road, and this means that they often get sprayed with dirty water from passing cars. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also be dangerous for the people waiting at the stop.

Green roofs can help to divert or collect rainwater from the bus stop. This keeps the area clean and reduces the risk of people getting splashed with dirty water after it rains.

Can promote eco-friendly, locally sourced materials

Bus stops don’t have to be built with materials that are not sustainable and sourced from far away. There are many great, eco-friendly materials that can be used to build bus stops, and green roofs can help to promote their use.

When people see a beautiful green roof on top of a bus stop, it might inspire them to use more environmentally friendly materials in their own homes and businesses.

This can help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are created from the manufacturing of these materials.

Reduces noise pollution

Noise pollution in cities is a huge problem. People can’t escape it, and this means that they are constantly exposed to noise when they’re trying to work or relax.

Green roofs can help to reduce noise pollution by providing natural insulation from the sound of traffic and other urban noises. Although they only cover the top of the bus stop, they can make a difference in terms of noise reduction.

Improves mood & Motivates for an active lifestyle

Green roofs on bus stops provide a space for plants and wildlife that would otherwise be eliminated by the development.

The greenery on these rooftops creates a more inviting atmosphere that will encourage people to walk or bike instead of driving their cars to bus stops.

Green roofs on bus stops allow residents of the city to interact with nature in an urban environment, which is important for mental health and overall well-being.

Do bus stop green roofs need irrigation?

Bus stop green roofs shouldn’t require irrigation. That is why we strongly suggest native or adaptive plants especially ones that are drought tolerant. The combination of climate, plant type, and the substrate should make self-sustaining irrigation unnecessary.

However, if a period of drought is expected, it might be a good idea to prepare to irrigate the green roof area for a period of time. This is especially true for bus stops that are in areas with less rainfall.

Are bus stop green roofs more expensive?

Installing a green roof on a bus stop is typically an inexpensive improvement. The cost of materials and installation is often not such a big concern for municipalities.

The main problem is that most bus stops cannot be converted into green roofs. They must be built from scratch and there is quite a bit of planning that goes into this type of project before construction can begin.

If planned in advance, bus stop green roofs can be installed without increasing the cost of the bus stop significantly.

Conclusion

Bus stops are often an area that is overlooked, but the designers behind these green-roofed bus stops decided it would be a good idea to make them beautiful as well as functional.

So, next time you’re waiting for the bus, take a look at the roof and see if it’s green. If it is, then you know that your city administration cared about more than just getting you from point A to point B.

They wanted to make your wait a little more enjoyable and environmentally friendly too.

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