Philadelphia’s Reading Viaduct Project
Post-industrial Philadelphia wants to do away with their “under-parked” image starting with the “Philadelphia Rail Park; a three-mile-long abandoned railway turned into an elevated park. Snaking through some of the city’s most populated neighborhoods, the proposed green spine would run through the backyards of fifty city blocks and stitch together multiple cultural and artistic landmarks. Organizers behind the Philadelphia’s Reading Viaduct project say that the park will differ from its NYC predecessor by cultivating a less polished, and more industrial feel.
Sydney’s The Goods Line
Sydney recently started construction on their version of the High Line: a public greenway called The Goods Line to be completed by the end of 2015. Located in the inner-city suburb Ultimo, the former disused rail corridor will be transformed into a 500-meter-long urban pedestrian and cycle network. Building on the spirit of the High Line, the Goods Line will offer pop-up performance and restaurant spaces, art installations, and will even be active as a nighttime destination.
Chicago’s “The 606” Bloomingdale Trail
Following in the footsteps of NYC’s High Line, Chicago commissioned a world-renowned landscape architecture firm (Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates) to transform an abandoned freight line into an elevated green park. Dubbed “The 606,” the multi-use Bloomingdale Trail comprises a 2.7-mile park and trail system that will connect four Chicago neighborhoods with arts and recreational space. Construction on the project’s first phase broke ground last year with completion expected late this fall.
New York City’s LowLine
The cheekily named LowLine aims to transform an abandoned trolley terminal on Manhattan’s Lower East Side into the world’s first underground park. The proposed subterranean park will serve as a linear greenway similar to the High Line, however, the public space will also offer a more surreal and high-tech experience. Currently in its fundraising phase, the Lowline will use futuristic skylight design, which includes fibre optics and mirrors, to capture and redirect sunlight deep underground to sustain plant growth.
When Rotterdam looked to revitalize the once-dangerous area of Hofbogen, the Dutch city decided to turn towards the High Line model. The first phase of the 1.9-kilometer-long viaduct project, called the Mini-Mall, was completed in 2011 and comprised the spaces above and under the viaduct’s first seven arches. According to Next City, however, lack of funding is preventing the project from moving forward.
New York City’s QueensWay
The Queens borough of New York is hoping to build its own park in the sky, albeit a more modest version than its high-profile precursor from across the East River. Organizers behind the Queensway hope to transform the 3.5-mile rail corridor into an elevated pedestrian and bikeway corridor. Last month, the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee unveiled winning concept designs for the Queensway.