Landscape artist Marc Granen has taken the concept of a rooftop garden to a new level with his motor vehicle. Marc designed and built his own bus that has a fully functioning small garden on the roof. His mission is to promote urban gardening and bring down the levels of CO2 by using the extra space for vegetation, while also raising the interest and demand for ecotourism. It is the general theory of Marc and his supporters that the cities lungs, the plants and trees, need to keep up with the population. This can actually be even harder to do in a large city where there is very little surface area available. However, if buses and trains were designed to carry small gardens, it would be a step in the right direction towards trying to utilize the limited amount of space towards supporting vegetation.
Despite living in the very warm city of Girona, Spain, Marc finds that he can obtain enough water to keep his plants alive with natural rainfall and in case there is dire need he can also use the water from his air conditioning system. It also supposedly makes the bus cooler on hot days and makes it cool int he car so that there is no need for air conditioning. Although this is not an ideal deign for buses in all cities, especially down in the American south, it is very ideal for cities that have various seasons and get consistent rainfall such as Chicago, Seattle, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati. While the idea was tried before once in New York City by a different organization, Marc argues it did not have the appeal it needed to gain attention from people and feels his design is sleeker and more appealing to tourists. He is confident his design will gain in popularity.
While it may seem funny when initially learning about a bus that has a garden on top, after really thinking it over the idea is actually a great one. Cities could take advantage of the opportunity to increase tourism while also taking the opportunity to do something that may catch on and really make a difference in the fight against global warming. Having people dedicated to finding new ways of using unused space will hopefully one day be very important job. With any luck Marc’s idea will spread and before we know it Chicago has buses with rooftop gardens.