Science: Terraforming
Green streets   (+15)  [vote for, against]
Cable supported green trellises covering city streets and suburban highways

With all the talk of green roofs, why not expand them out over the streets, just above the street lights. It would absorb noise, pollution and reduce urban heat island effects.

This is basically a small doable version of the "Vertically Stacked Continent" idea (link).
-- MisterQED, Nov 01 2009

Vertically Stacked Fake Continents Vertically_20stacke...ake_20continents_2e
[MisterQED, Nov 01 2009]

a slightly more sedate version Parking_20Forest
honk honk [FlyingToaster, Nov 02 2009]

my attempt... Gardens_20of_20Babylon_20Awnings
[xandram, Nov 03 2009]

Actually, yes, why not? Driving might be a bit claustrophobogenic, but yes, why not?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 01 2009

Yes, but apart from that?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 01 2009

You could replace the tarmac with turf, and simply ban all motorised vehicles.
-- pocmloc, Nov 01 2009

It's not a solid layer, I was thinking more like a grid with 20% coverage. Choice of plant would be the challenge to keep it from filling in the gaps and needing little or no tending. I was more worried about ice buildup in the north and animal/bug infestation. The idea isn't all that new, as my town had trees that meshed to cover the main street. Doing that in a city would take decades during which root systems would cause lots of damage and the limbs not facing the street would need to be removed.

To solve some of [21Q]'s expense issue, maybe bamboo could be "trained" (no genetic manipulation just topiary) to arch over streets to meet to form the mesh in the right climates. I live near NYC and we have tons of bamboo in the park behind my house.
-- MisterQED, Nov 01 2009

//solar-powered and solar-assisted vehicles would lose efficiency//

yeah, this is definitely one of the main reasons it hasn't happened yet.

-- xaviergisz, Nov 02 2009

One of my favorite streets around town is a half-kilometer stretch with beautiful old oak trees on either side. The trees have reached at least 20-30m height and they mesh at the top to form a canopy over the street. Quite lovely. [+]
-- bdag, Nov 02 2009

Triffids are quick growing ...
-- 8th of 7, Nov 02 2009

"Say it with Flowers - Send Her a Triffid!"

Now got me thinking along the lines of Triffid Security Guards . . . . . Hmm . . .
-- Parrotile, Dec 22 2009

random, halfbakery