Innovation That Matters

The Living Roofs are part of a planned initiative to convert all 479 bus shelters in Leicester to eco-friendly alternatives | Photo source Clear Channel

Roofs on bus stops designed to attract pollinating bees


Leicester city has added green rooftops to its bus shelters to attract bees and other wildlife

Spotted: There is evidence that populations of bees and other pollinators are not only decreasing in abundance, but they are also becoming less healthy. Air pollution, pesticides and global warming are all taking their toll. Now, the city of Leicester is doing its part to help the pollinators recover by installing Bee Bus Stopes — green roofs on bus shelters designed to attract pollinators.  

The Living Roofs have been designed in conjunction with outdoor advertising site owner Clear Channel and currently 30 bus stops are planned to be installed around the city. They are planted in a mix of wildflowers and Sedum plants — a favourite amongst pollinating insects. The Living Roofs are part of a planned initiative to convert all 479 bus shelters in Leicester to eco-friendly alternatives, at no cost to the city council. As part of this, the stops will also be fitted with solar panels, wherever possible, to provide lighting to the bus shelters below.  

In addition to improving biodiversity in the city, the Bee Bus Stops will also absorb rainwater, decreasing runoff. The greenery will not only add life to the concrete cityscape, but will also help mitigate the urban heat island effect by absorbing some of the heat during the summer months, and filtering out air pollutants. 

According to Clear Channel, “As well as supporting Leicester’s critters, the thoughtfully-designed shelters will positively contribute towards biodiversity and climate resilience, absorb rainwater falling on the roof, help to reduce the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect’, capture particulates from the air, and help make the city a greener and happier place”. 

Green or living rooftops are on the rise, being incorporated into many different types of buildings and are an important component of some passive heating and cooling systems. Springwise has recently explored the use of living roofs on corporate headquarters buildings and floating offices

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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