Mobile Gardens

Bus-top gardens, the planting of gardens on the elevated flat space of urban bus tops, is a nice subversion of how we usually think of gardens.

Namely, we think of gardening as a place-specific activity. Rooted in place, not to put too fine a point on it. So why drive gardens around on the daily commute?

A Phyto Kinetic prototype bus in Girona, Spain. Photo: Phyto Kinetic

A Phyto Kinetic prototype bus in Girona, Spain.
Photo: Phyto Kinetic

Because in an urban setting the size of New York City, for example, landscaping on top of buses could mean 35 more acres of green space.

Marc Granan has started a new project, Phyto Kinetic, in Spain. Taking notes and learning from an earlier project in the US (Bus Roots), he utlized thin sheets of hydroponic foam reduce the overall weight of the traveling garden. Irrigation takes place using water from the vehicle’s air-conditioning system. Granan argues that bus gardens could be just the beginning – why not plant garden fleets atop city vehicles?

A Phyto Kinetic green van. Photo: Phyto Kinetic

A Phyto Kinetic green van.
Photo: Phyto Kinetic

Bus Roots founder Marco Castro hoped to “reclaim forgotten space, increase quality of life and grow the amount of green spaces.”

Bus-top gardens might be, for the moment, a starry-eyed vision that falls into the category of ‘doing something is better than doing nothing’. But if maintenance and weight challenges can be overcome, it might help offset greenhouse-gas emissions at a key urban source, provide a bit of green magic and inspiration to city streets, and also open a whole new sector for jobs in urban gardening.


Visit Bus Roots here.

Visit Phyto Kinetic here.

HuffingtonPost article on Phyto Kinetic – Rooftop Gardens On Buses Makes Total Sense, And Here’s Why by Salvatore Cardoni

2010 Gizmag article on the Bus Roots project – Living garden on bus rooftop to add some rolling green to city streets by Darren Quick

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