City of Utrecht Green-roofed bus shelters in Utrecht

The city of Utrecht has completed the wide-scale installation of green roofs on its bus stops. Green roofs capture particulates, store rainwater, provide cooling when it's hot and promote urban biodiversity. All of these are beneficial for insects like bees, bumblebees and butterflies.

Healthy urban living for all

In Utrecht we opt for healthy growth, for healthy happy residents in an attractive and economically strong city. We work together with everyone who wants to contribute to solutions for a healthy life in an urban environment. We experiment and convert ideas into results with impact, results that contribute to a healthy living in the Utrecht region and beyond.

316 bus shelters with sedum-covered roofs

Our city has 316 bus stops with a sedum-covered roof. The bus stops contribute to a healthy living environment in the city, and they help raise awareness. The sedum-covered roofs benefit us—the residents—but they also help the small animals who call the city their home. Birds and insects are drawn to and delight in green roofs.

Video: Bus stops with green roofs in Utrecht

Why green roofs?

The green roofs on the bus shelters help by:

  • capturing particulates
  • storing rainwater
  • providing cooling when it is hot
  • promoting the city's biodiversity (e.g. bees and other insects)

Convert ideas into results with impact:

  • We exploit old, disused sites to make the city greener
  • We make the bus shelters more appealing by outfitting them with green roofs
  • We inspire Utrecht's residents to install their own green roofs
  • It costs the municipality nothing: the bus-shelter operator pays for the installation and maintenance with income from advertising.

The municipality of Utrecht encourages the installation of green roofs throughout the city. Residents are welcome to apply for a grant through the following website: www.utrecht.nl/groendak.

Other sustainability features of the bus stops

The bus stops feature LED lighting and 96 of them are outfitted with solar panels. They all have a bamboo bench. The base of the bus shelters is made of recycled concrete. The maintenance will be carried out with electric vehicles.

How it started: request for tenders with requirements that promote "healthy urban living for all"

As a municipality, we issued a request for tenders for the installation, management, operation and maintenance of the bus stop facilities within the city. The contract with the old provider had expired. In this tender, we have outlined the requirements that promote "healthy urban living":

  • contribute to a carbon neutral Utrecht
  • provide innovative functions to enhance the perception of quality
  • promote circular purchasing
  • facilitate low energy consumption
  • generate a feeling of being safe, an overall positive experience and comfort for passengers/commuters.

We have also encouraged applicants to develop a nature-inclusive design that offers ecological benefits to the city.

Installation and maintenance

We have awarded the contract to RBL Outdoor and Clear Channel. Having installed the bus shelters, these companies will oversee their maintenance for the next 15 to 20 years.

Thanks to the tender project, as of April 2019, our city has 316 bus stops with a sedum-covered roof. The project will not cost the municipality anything. The operator will install and maintain the bus stops using income from advertising.