Public bus with green roof takes to Istanbul’s streets

Public bus with green roof takes to Istanbul’s streets

Public bus with green roof takes to Istanbul’s streets

AA Photo

A public bus with a green roof garden has hit the road in Istanbul as part of a new effort by Istanbul Electrics, Trams and Tunnel Management (İETT) to raise awareness of environmental concerns.

The bus - dubbed the “Botobüs,” a combination of “botanic” and “bus” - has started by carrying passengers between Edirnekapı and Taksim. The number of buses is planned to increase, including routes featuring many overpasses to allow pedestrians to see the gardens easily.

The evergreen species planted on the bus’ roof absorb CO2 emitted by the bus while it makes its way across town. The plants then release oxygen that helps clean the air, and the garden also naturally cools the interior of the bus.

The roof-top garden is watered using condensation drawn from the bus’s air conditioning conduits, according to environmental engineer Fatmanur Yılmaz, who is involved in the İETT project.

“We created a garden by recycling the unused area on the roof of the bus. We use water obtained from the air conditioning system to irrigate the garden. We wanted to emphasize how important even the water from the air conditioning system is,” Yılmaz said.

“The project provides heat-saving because sunlight does not directly touch the bus. The plants photosynthesize, so we minimize the carbon emission and produce oxygen,” she added.

Hüsamettin Gurbetoğlu, the driver of the botobüs, said the bus had drawn a positive reaction from pedestrians so far.

Botobüs is not the first of its kind: The idea was previously introduced in 2010 by Marco Castro Cosio, a U.S.-based designer. He developed his project “Bus Roots” as a practical and playful way to reconnect urban communities with nature. Bus Roots earned the runner-up spot in Designwala’s 2010 urban-design competition and was included in 2011’s Festival of Ideas for the New City.

Another green bus, created by Catalan landscape artist Marc Grañén, debuted to provide sustainable transport in the Spanish city of Girona in 2013.