The Hague is getting more sustainable day by day and this transformation can be seen in places as ordinary as a bus shelter. As of last week, the Dutch municipality is experimenting with two different types of green stops â€“ one covered with greenery, and another one with solar panels. By doing this, the Municipality wants to inspire public transport users to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviour.
On 2 October, The Hague launched a new sustainability project, in cooperation with HTM, the regional public transit company. Two green bus shelters can now be seen in the city centre, offering a different type of solution to the cityâ€™s problems of air quality and energy consumption.
One of the stops has a green roof covered by sedum â€“ a type of succulent plant that filters the air, retains water and is believed to improve biodiversity. The second stop is covered with solar panels, that generate electricity. The produced energy is used for lighting the advertisements in the booth.
The new shelters have a twofold purpose â€“ apart from the fact that they look nice and are beneficial for the environment, the Municipality hopes that the bus stops can serve as an inspiration to local people to get started on their sustainability journeys. For example, installing solar panels at home. The two shelters located at Spui and Kalvermarkt are currently a pilot project and if they are deemed successful, more can be placed in the rest of the city.
By installing solar panels on a bus stop, the local authority of the Hague wants to set a positive example for local homeowners. Photo: Municipality of the Hague
The project is part of the Sustainable Roof Hunt, with which Alderman Liesbeth van Tongeren, responsible for Sustainability and Energy Transition, wants to ensure that solar panels or greenery can be installed on every roof. There are still many empty roofs in the city that can contribute to producing green energy, counteracting heat stress or improving the processing of rainwater.
Although this idea seems innovative, sustainable bus shelters are not new to the Netherlands. Amsterdam has already tested tram stops with greenery in January, while last year Utrecht completed a wide-scale installation of green roofs on 316 bus shelters.
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