Although it's certainly not a new idea to combine landscaping with public transportation, we love the sight of these European trams gliding along on beds of grass. From Barcelona to the Czech Republic, Frankfurt, St-Etienne and Strasbourg, these public transit greenways are showing the potential of incorporating landscaping into good urban design.
Much like green roofs, these swaths of green provide a host of benefits to any urban area, like reducing urban heat island effect, providing a permeable surface for storm water to infiltrate, and reducing pollution. And did we mention that it looks so much prettier than concrete or asphalt? We wish the public transportation in the US looked this good.
We wholeheartedly agree with Monocle Magazine‘s top 25 Examples of Good Urban Design, which states: “There’s something quite magical about watching trams in Barcelona, Strasbourg or Frankfurt glide silently along beds of grass as they do their city circuit. Where possible, this attractive combination of efficient public transport and inspired landscaping should be standard as part of the urban fabric.”