Gallery: Phyto Kinetic: Green-Roofed Buses Add a Breath of Fresh Air to...


How would you like to be transported to work in a moving garden? If Marc Granen has anything to do with it, you may be able to. The landscape artist, who we discovered through Urban Gardens, has developed a green roof for buses called Phyto Kinetic. Since green spaces are so valuable for human environments, and since cities just don’t have a lot of open space, Granen came up with the idea of using areas that already exist to create that green space, even if they are on four wheels. In a city like New York that has thousands of buses, adding the Phyto Kinetic system to each one would create over a 100,000 square meters of air-purifying green space in the city.

Phyto Kinetic uses a lightweight, seven centimeter-thick hydroponic foam which is much lighter than soil, and significantly reduces the overall weight of the green roof. The foam has the fringe benefit of being extremely malleable, making it easy to install on any shape of bus. As far as watering the garden goes, condensation from the bus’s air conditioning system, which typically goes to waste, is captured and recycled to irrigate the roof. When the air conditioning system is not in use, in cooler weather, the garden can be manually watered. And the way Granen keeps the garden in place on a moving platform is through micro-perforated stainless steel bands that are fixed in place with ultra-light protective mesh that anchors the planted surface. This anchoring system, Granen says, would keep the garden in place even if the bus got into a turnover accident.

Granen has produced a prototype Phyto Kinetic bus that is currently in operation transporting tourists to and from a nature and camping facility in Girona, a town in the northeastern coast of Spain. He is currently in discussions with an auto company who has expressed interest in sponsoring a fleet in Barcelona. He envisions each city bus line cultivating its own unique landscape of aromatic herbs, ornamental plants, ivy or grasses. But besides the physical benefits of planting more gardens in cities, Granen hopes that Phyto Kinetic can change the relationship of city dwellers to nature, and help them experience green spaces in conjunction with city infrastructure.

+ Phyto Kinetic

Via Urban Gardens


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  1. Oflife August 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

    As they would say in Spanish, we’re very grateful for our “Grassy bus.” 😉

  2. Gemeda Beker July 31, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Nice post Taz. The bus is a great publicity for the green revolution. It would be great to see one of those in Toronto. :)


  3. legalegl July 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

    You’ve got to consider the increased amount of fuel(and the increase in emissions) needed to move this garden, and possibly its aerodynamic consequences…I doubt if it will be effective…though it may stimulate more productive ideas.

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