Turning Billboards into Bamboo Oases


Venturing into the great outdoors obviously has a certain calming affect, a rejuvenation of the spirit, and it is along those lines that a Los Angeles artist wants to create urban gardens in the oddest of places — on billboards along the congested and stressful freeways of the sprawling beast that is L.A.

Urban Air is the brainchild of artist Stephen Glassman, who intends to replace advertisements on some of the billboards in L.A. with wi-fi enabled green billboards featuring planters of living bamboo trees, water misters and climate-monitoring technology.

“My intention is to put a crack in the urban skyline so that when people are compressed, squeezed, stuck in traffic and they look up, they see an open space of fresh air that allows them to take a breath, feel themselves as humans and conceive of what might be,” Glassman says in the video that reveals the plan.

Glassman anticipates the first billboard going up in L.A. in 2013 and envisions the concept spreading worldwide. The designs are ready and the billboards for the L.A. flagship launch are secured. Now all Urban Air needs is money to fund the ambitious project. So far, it has raised $18,500 of the $100,000 it needs by Dec. 11.

Environmental coverage made possible in part by support from Patagonia. For information on Patagonia and its environmental efforts, visit www.patagonia.com. In affiliation with GrindTV.

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