James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the landscape architecture firm behind the wildly successful High Line, unveiled plans for the Underline, a proposed 10-mile-long linear park in Miami. Like its name implies, the Underline won’t be elevated in the air like its New York City predecessor; rather, Miami’s new park would be built on underutilized land beneath the city’s MetroRail, connecting downtown Miami on the north with an existing trail at Dadeland South Station. Once complete, the Underline will serve as the green spine for a future 250-mile-long network of bicycle and walking trails.
JCFO beat out 19 other firms in a competition to master plan the Underline earlier this year. The landscape architects are working together with the nonprofit group Friends of The Underline and the University of Miami School of Architecture to develop a linear park with an impact that will expand far beyond its 10-mile-long footprint—the ambitious project will connect communities; create over a hundred acres of open space with restored natural habitats and ecosystems; improve public health with wider and safer routes for bicycling, walking, and other exercise; provide an area for the arts; and serve as an economic catalyst that can attract development along the US1.
The Friends of The Underline founder, Meg Daly, conceived the Underline idea when she broke both her arms in 2013 and had to take the Metrorail, instead of her car, to work. While walking on an existing path beneath the train tracks, she noticed the unused potential of the space and opportunity for an improved urban trail. The Underline master plan will widen the existing bike path that Daly used and will add a second parallel pedestrian path in addition to a lush native planting plan. JCFO’s preliminary designs, due in September, will include recommendations for lighting, way finding, seating, landscaping, and extra amenities such as sculptures, workout equipment, and even pop-up businesses like a bike repair kiosk. The master planning has been fully funded, however, the Underline itself could take up to a decade to complete.
Images via Underline