Over the past few years we've seen some very creative minds transform urban ruins into spectacular parks for us to enjoy. If you can brave an abandoned nuclear plant turned into an amusement park, head to Germany - or see how old train tracks can be transformed into beautiful and fun parks in New York City and Lima. Jump ahead for a peek at 6 of our favorite parks made from rehabilitated urban structures!
This stream used to be buried underneath the city of Seoul until it was uncovered and transformed into a lush green park as part of the Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project. Since 2003, the new park has been like a major life-force for the center of the city, helping reduce temperatures and bridging the gap between the north and south of the metropolis. The 5.6 km park is encouraging new activity and recreation and is even home to an array of new insects, fish and other wildlife.
Old train ruins in Lima, Peru have become the perfect playground for both kids and adults alike thanks to the work of Spanish group Basurama. The Ghost Train Park makes use of recycled materials to create horse-shaped tire swings, climbing structures, canopy lines, and swings. What was once a blight on the city is now a cheery and bright spot full of kids making use what would be otherwise useless concrete columns.
Silos are huge pieces of infrastructure that would be a shame to tear down when no longer needed, so when two abandoned silos came up for grabs, Amsterdam hoped to transform them into something amazing for everyone. NL Architects proposed an adaptive reuse project that would transform the silos into an incredible climbing gym. If ever completed, the project would allow climbers to scale both the interior and exterior of the silos and rappel down – all in the name of fun.
One of our favorite projects to open as of late has been the High Line Park in Manhattan. We still can’t get over the inspired idea to transform an abandoned, elevated train line into a beautiful park in the heart of the city. Now that the second phase of the High Line is complete, there’s even more space to stroll, hang out and take in the sites of greater Manhattan. The High Line is officially our favorite spot in NYC for ice cream because you can walk it off afterwards!
If you’re looking for a bit more excitement in your park, check out the Wunderland Kalkar in Germany – an abandoned nuclear plant that has been transformed into an amusement park. The plant was never actually in operation, so have no fear of radiation – but rather than tearing it down, they transformed it into a park that draws hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Sydney also has an impressive adaptive reuse project to create a beautiful urban green space. The ruins of a public waterworks was magically transformed into the Paddington Reservoir Gardens with enough history to give you the feeling you’re walking around the Acropolis. And since it used to be a waterworks, water efficiency is still a high priority. In fact, rainwater is collected on-site for landscape irrigation.