The Dutch city of Utrecht has transformed hundreds of its bus stops into lush, bee-friendly havens which will help support pollinating populations.
As bus stops are usually just a place for humans to sit and wait, most of them aren’t particularly outstanding or attractive to look at.
However, Utrecht council saw an opportunity in the structures and decided to have a revamp in order to give them a whole new wholesome purpose.
The city, located in the central Netherlands, now has 316 bus stops with rooftops covered in greenery.
The additions not only make the bus stops look nicer but they help to capture fine dust and store rainwater. One of the biggest benefits of the succulents, however, is that they help support the city’s biodiversity, such as honey bees and bumblebees.
According to the Dutch website Wildebijen there are 358 bee species in the Netherlands but unfortunately more than 56 per cent of those species are endangered and on the Dutch Red List (RL).
The new greenery will work to encourage pollination as the little creatures are attracted to the luscious new shelters.
As explained in the European Red List of Bees, bees are key in wild and agricultural ecosystem dynamics as they fertilise plants and allow them to reproduce.
As well as making transforming their bus stops into ‘bee stops’, Utrecht council are encouraging locals to take similar steps with their own rooftops by offering a subsidy for residents who have roofs over 20 square metres, in order to help them create green roofs of their own.
Addressing the benefits of plant-covered rooftops, the council’s website explains:
A green roof is good for a healthy and livable city. The city can therefore better cope with climate problems. It helps to prevent flooding and ensures that we suffer less from heat.
The city is taking further steps to improve the environment with plans to replace 125 buses with new 55 new electric buses by the end of 2019.
Speaking of the initiative, Deputy Dennis Street said:
With this replacement, the province of Utrecht, together with the U-OV transport company, will kill two birds with one stone. With the arrival of so many new electric buses, we are taking a big step towards the goal of completely clean public transport in 2028.
Officials are reportedly also planning to install solar panels on every single one of the bus stops in the future.