Happy Friday everyone! Here is just a little bit of inspiration to start the weekend – The High Line Park in New York City.
I had heard about High Line Park awhile ago, but was reminded of just how cool it is recently!
The freight line was in operation form the early 1930s to 1980 at which point it fell into disuse. In the late 1990s a group called “Friends of the High Line” fought to protect the aboveground line that reflected New York’s industrial history, and worked together with New York City Council to preserve the structure. The space has since been turned into a stunning urban park. Section 1 opened only last year while other sections are still being designed and constructed (section 2 will open in 2011).
This is a great example of how cities can transform existing structures that no longer serve their original purpose into meaningful public spaces. The reconceptualization of this space into a public park offers lots of green space (including nature reserves), beautiful views, and a little bit of quiet in the middle of a booming metropolis. There are also free fitness classes offered in the park and the Amateur Astronomers Association holds weekly stargazing gatherings!
Several cities around the US have started to follow New York’s example and implement similar projects with out of service rail lines. However I think all cities could take a second look at what spaces are under-utilized and instead of focusing on removal and demolition, challenge themselves to find ways of adapting spaces and to ensure that they can still provide a public service.
There is a lot that can be done by embracing and enhancing what we already have and ensuring that it can still serve the public in new and exciting ways!
Have a great weekend!