Pimp a Bus -Stop

Project Category: Project Tags: Biodiversity, Energy and Mental Health

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    Pimp A Bus-Stop

    ByWillesden Green Town Team Brent Fundraising stage

    Grow a green wall on top of our bus-stops.

    Pledges will only be charged if the project hits its funding goal of £3,439 by 20 Sep 2017

    Willesden Green Town Team

    We want to transform our bus-shelters into homes for insects and to provide food for birds. The means for this would be to purchase large pots and grow a creeper trained on wires across the top. I have seen something similar to this in Madeira and they do it also on the Continent. This project is awaiting final permissions from TfL. In the unlikely event, this is not secured, no money will be taken from backers.

    What we’ll deliver:

    Add 1 large pot to each bus-stop

    Grow Parthenocissus quinquefolia in the pot as it is bee friendly

    Maintain the creeper

    Why it’s a great idea:

    This is an innovative idea here in the UK but it will assist the environment locally by providing leaves to reduce the pollution. It will help people sheltering in the stop as it will provide an extra layer against the elements. It will encourage insects and provide food and shelter for them and also food for birds. Our high street will be greener and this assist in improving morale, provides emotional support and cheers people up.

    Steps to get it done:

    gain permission from owners of bus-stops

    purchase corten steel planters and place guide wires on bus-stops

    purchase soil for each planter – a 1 metre sq planter requires 1 ton of soil

    purchase 1 pathenocissus quinquefloia per planter

    arrange to plant with town team and agree watering schedule

    As a very urban high street we have no green spaces along it but this provide greenery at regular intervals.

    Location Brent

    Parthenocissus and Pollution

    This plant is also known as the Virginia Creeper and thus is a familiar sight in the Autumn with its scarlet leaves.

    But what ,any people don’t realise is that it has small green flowers in the Spring – pollinated by bees – which result in small blue/black berries that are eaten by birds. It provides a blanket of foliage up to 12 inches in depth thus creating a shade blanket.

    It is especially suitable for growing along roads as it grows well in low fertility and draughty conditions, and handles drought well. It has not significant pests or diseases and can live for 25-50 years and thus is will not need renewing for a very long time.

    Not only is it tolerant to pollution but the plant leaves will assist in trapping particulates and small particles. Studies in Singapore have shown that commuters at bus-stops breathe in 3.5 times the norm of toxic gases and articles, and bus-stops are hot spots for tiny particles from vehicle exhaust fumes.

    We are still waiting to hear from the tfl Surface Transportation office to gain their approval for this project but are hopeful of receiving this soon.

    Just a little update on why we have chosen to design the project this way.

    Why we have chosen this method rather than the more traditional sedum blanket approach.

    The reason is quite simple. It is easier to maintain. And does not require a special shelter to be purchased.

    A sedum blanket is also quite expensive to purchase and will need to be regularly inspected and renewed – there is also a weight issue as the shelter would need to support soil and drainage too.

    Overall a climber is a simple solution and the one chosen is favoured by bees.

    There are also a number of benefits to air quality in terms of absorption of particulates by the vegetation We do not know what these plants in particular absorb, but ‘Living Walls Benefits Improving Air Quality in London South East’ estimate that living walls increase the deposition of nitrogen dioxide by 40% and particulate by 60%.

    A green wall facade reduces air pollution and particulates locally by 20% according to Arup. We therefore can expect an improvement in air quality for commuters especially as road facing bus-stops are known to increase the level of fine particulates inside them.

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