Good news, New Yorkers: that gem of urban green space, the High Line, will more than double in length by next spring. Fast Company tells us that architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and landscape firm James Corner Field Operations will roll out some fascinating new features in the 10-block extension of the park reclaimed from a defunct rail line.

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Once scheduled for demolition, the High Line opened as a park a year ago. Since then, 2 million visitors have strolled along the six-block greenway between 14th and 20th Streets. Any quiet space away from cars is prized real estate for hot-footin’ New Yorkers, but this one preserves the charm of a decaying industrial landscape.

The extension, from 20th to 30th Streets, will indulge the same paradox. The new section, like the existing park, will feature open joints in the concrete to encourage grass to grow in the cracks. At one point in the extension, the concrete will be stripped away to reveal the steel girders supporting the trestle. Greenery along the path will feature mainly plants that grow naturally in Manhattan — it’s hard to call anything in the concrete jungle “native” — but they’ll be interspersed with other flora so that something will be in bloom during the whole growing season.

At one point, the trail will ascend above the rail line into the canopy of sumac trees. In the shade cast by the overhead walkway will go plants that grow naturally in the shade of the City’s skyscrapers. The extension will also feature its own version of Central Park’s Ramble, a stretch of dense trees and shrubs called the Chelsea Thicket. (I foresee lots of native Chelsea wildlife activity behind these trees in that other great New York tradition.)

Also forthcoming are a lounging lawn, a sitting area framed with an empty billboard frame and a 30th Street entrance.

+ Diller Scofidio + Renfro

+ James Corner Field Operations

+ Inhabitat’s High Line Flickr Album

Via Fast Company