Gardens on top of cars? Only in New York

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Gardens on top of cars? Only in New York

Mercedes-Benz is a car company – one you’re probably familiar with. It is, in fact, the oldest carmaker in the world: Carl Benz, from whom the company gets half of its name (the other half comes from the daughter of race car driver Emil Jellinek), invented the combustion engine, and along with Gottlieb Daimler, was a pioneer at the forefront of automotive technology in the late 19th Century.

Daimler-Benz AG is now the parent company which owns-and0-operates the luxury – and still forward-thinking – car company.

Now, as the technology allowed by Benz’s initial invention helped change the world (for better or for worse, depending on who you ask), so the luxury car manufacturer is looking to do so again. This time? Leaving combustion behind for a greener look at transportation, and the landscape on which it operates, especially as it pertains to dense, concrete-laden urban areas.

Mercedes-Benz wants gardens on top of cars

As part of the NYC Is Green content series, Mercedes-Benz EQ partnered with media production company Created Here to support NYC-based interactive designer Marco Castro Cosio.

(Other entries in the series include visual artist Zaria Forman’s epic paintings of arctic and ocean landscapes, click here, and Dan Barasch, a community developer currently working on an underground park in an NYC subway station, which you can see here.)

Mercedes-Benz EQ is now completing the content series by putting the spotlight on Castro Cosio, though he’s no stranger to attention: While working as an innovation consultant, with residencies at Columbia and NYU, as well as with TED and others, he was also developing his passion project, Bus Roots, an initiative that installs “green” roofs on vehicles.

Here’s the general idea: By placing roofs made from plant life on the tops of cars and buses in the city, Bus Roots will add 1,000,000 square feet of green space to the NYC concrete jungle. Long an advocate of sustainability, Castro Cosio’s green roofs will create access to plant life in the city in new and unique ways, providing refuge for the city’s wildlife – especially pollinators like bees and butterflies – while serving as a natural cooling system for notoriously hot and humid summers simultaneously.

Watch the introductory video below:

Read this next: The new way to stay: Energy positive, and above the Arctic Circle