Turning bus stops into ‘bee stops’ is a global trend

5 January 2023

The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly visible worldwide. Our sewerage systems in the cities overload when there is extreme rainfall, which leads to flooding or creates
an Urban Heat Island effect due to urbanisation. By creating more green environments in our urban areas we will make ourselves more resilient to these changes. A healthy, green environment is related to; biodiversity, clean water, clean air, a stable climate and a fertile soil. The amount of municipalities that are making sure that creating a green environment is at the top of their agenda is increasing, by implementing green areas in the spatial designs and planning, but also encouraging the people in their towns through subsidies to do the same. A good example of an initiative are the 316 so-called bee stops in Utrecht. Mobilane has already provided green roofs on bus stops in Utrecht, Gouda, Apeldoorn, Woerden, Leipzig (Germany), Helsingborg (Sweden) and Malmö (Sweden).

Green roofs on bus stops worldwide
The bee stop, also known as buzz stop, was world news. It appeared on the BBC, ARD and WDR and in The Guardian and USA Today. Several media outlets from Canada, India, Ukraine,
Australia and Italy also covered it. This created a true green trend worldwide. What is the added value of green roofs on bus stops in cities?

”Bus stops add value to stadecology because of their amount and locations through the cities.’says Harry Boeschoten, programme director Green Metropolis. He says the essence of the green metropolis is that you create an uninterrupted network of nature inside and outside the city. By creating a green environment in and around cities, connecting green areas with each other and by connecting with the surrounding nature, we can improve biodiversity.
”In terms of biodiversity, the city is interesting for two reasons,” says Wageningen Environmental Research researcher Robbert Snep: ‘More and more species are thus discovering the city as a habitat. The city is a great place to inspire and inform our urban society about biodiversity.”

Mankind is the cause of biodiversity loss
Research by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reveals shocking figures regarding biodiversity. Never before has the number of plant and animal species facing extinction been so high. In the 40 years between 1970 and 2010, we have already lost over 52% of our planetary biodiversity and over 70% of the remaining species are at risk of
extinction. IPBES concludes that displacement of nature by human intervention is the main cause.

Green roof: Foundation for sustainable urbanism
The bee stops feature the MobiRoof green roof system. These are cassettes with 6-8 different species of sedum plants. These succulents can withstand just about any weather condition and
require hardly any maintenance. According to Utrecht alderman Kees Diepeveen, the green roof is the foundation for sustainable urban development. ”The roofs help capture particulate matter, store rainwater and provide cooling during heat”, Diepeveen said. ”In addition, green roofs also increase biodiversity in the city, which is very good for insects such as bees.”

Contributing to a sustainable and healthy city yourself
The symbolic value of the green bus stops should therefore not be underestimated, says Harry Boeschoten. ”So it is apparently fun and exciting when something happens to the city. Drivers see that too. Like: ‘Darn, this is something that appeals to people’.” This, in turn, can lead to more greening. Because of the bus stops, more people are applying for subsidies to install their own green roofs. The bus stops also ‘do something’ to the city’s residents. People react positively and enthusiastically, becoming more aware and inspired to contribute to a sustainable and healthy city themselves.

Below is a list of all cities where Mobilane has turned bus stops into bee stops:

Location: Malmö, Sweden
Date of placement: 2017

Location: Helsingborg, Sweden
Date of placement: 2018

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Date of placement: 2019

Location: Leipzig, Germany
Date of placement: 2019

Location: Gouda, Netherlands
Date of placement: 2019

Location: Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Date of placement: 2020

Location: Woerden, Netherlands
Date of placement: 2020

Location: Haarlem, Netherlands
Date of placement: 2020