More and more municipalities in Europe are following the trend to make their cities greener by installing green roofs on bus stops. The sedum plants on bus stops bring
In addition to their cooling effect, green roofs on bus stops retain water. Sedum vegetation and the substrate of bus stops store rainwater and thus reduce runoff. Due to climate change and the increase of hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete in our cities, drainage systems are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the inflow of rainwater – a common occurrence in Sofia. Landscaping bus shelters, for example, reduces the peak flow of water into underground pipes.
The local government of Utrecht, a city in the Netherlands, transformed 316 bus stops in 2019 by equipping them with green roofs made of sedums and other plants that serve as an oasis for bees. Greenery has a number of other positive effects on the environment.
Plants help to trap dust and pollutants from the air, as well as regulate the temperature around the bus stop. Not to mention that adding plants to urban spaces has many other benefits including: reducing noise pollution, reducing stress, increasing biodiversity, beautifying the city, absorbing carbon dioxide and improving air quality.
Bus stops with green roofs increase the understanding of the importance of nature for the people who live, work and visit these cities. Passing a green bus stop every day makes people turn around – and think. In this way, local authorities promote their active role in improving the living environment of their citizens. Awareness is raised about the environmental benefits of green roofs. European municipalities often provide grants for urban greening and, very specifically, for helping their citizens to create green roofs.
Increasing urbanization is a major cause of the urban heat island (UHI) effect. The combination of building height and narrow streets leads to increased surface reflection and greater absorption of thermal radiation. The friction of air molecules in these narrow streets also reduces urban wind speeds, which in turn reduces cooling potential. Because rainwater often runs off quickly and disappears largely underground, relatively little water is left to evaporate. In addition, the reduction of green space in cities means a reduction in evapotranspiration, one of the most important factors in cooling the earth’s surface. Reduced evaporation adversely affects the urban climate as it is difficult to get rid of water when needed. Heat is retained longer at night and air quality deteriorates. All this affects our health. Last but not least, there is a negative economic impact.
Our team at Innova is actively involved in a project for the design and construction of one of the first green bus stops in Bulgaria with the potential to become a standard in the construction of green bus stops in Sofia and other Bulgarian cities.