Utrecht, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, has boosted the biodiversity and sustainability of its public spaces with the installation of planted roofs on more than 300 bus stops. More than half of the country’s 358 species of bees are endangered and it is hoped that these roofs, which are planted mainly with sedums and wildflowers, will provide forage for bees and other pollinators, while also capturing air pollutants. The bus stops are lit by energy-efficient, LED lights powered by windmills, and are fitted with bamboo benches for waiting passengers. Perhaps London should take note? In fact, a petition to turn London’s bus stops into bee-friendly havens has already been rejected by parliament.
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Hydroponic living walls are being installed on a highways scheme at the newly reconstructed Millbrook Roundabout in Southampton, Hampshire. The flagship project is being undertaken by Balfour Beatty Living Places, using green-wall technology designed by Biotecture. Ten columns appearing to support the flyover above will be clad in greenery grown on 6m-high steel frames. The plants will help to remove pollutants by absorbing gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide as well as hazardous particulates. Work is due to be completed this autumn.