Kingston landscape architecture graduate Will Sandy is aiming to change the hours that people spend at London bus stops for the better – with a landscaping project that will transform the spaces around bus stops into colourful, blossoming gardens.
His initiative, the Edible Bus Stop, was shortlisted in the grassroots community category of the Observer Ethical Awards, and is quickly gathering interest and support from communities around London.
The project started last year along the 322 bus route from Clapham to Crystal Palace, when more than 40 people turned up to guerilla garden a neglected plot of land next to the 322 Lambeth Hospital bus stop. Endorsed by the council, the project’s mission was simple – to create a lush, organic growing space for edibles and non-edibles, supporting community cohesion along the way. “One of the most interesting parts of working on the Edible Bus Stop is the opportunity it creates for conversations and meetings to happen, spaces for people to stop and engage, where normally they would walk past each other,” said Will.
Now, each disused plot of land along the route will become an attractive community landscape, based on designs submitted by university students, recent graduates and emerging practices across London. Installations of the Edible Bus Stop will be exhibited at the Chelsea Fringe Festival, the Hampton Court Flower Show and the National Gardening Show, as well as at London City Airport for the next three years.
With the long-term aim of rolling the project out to neglected or forgotten patches of earth all over London, Edible Bus Stop may well become part of the city’s vocabulary. Previously marked by silence and sullen faces, bus stops are set to become hubs of colour, cohesion and pride.