If you’ve been reading Inhabitat you probably know that we’re rooting for the Delancey Underground’s ambitious plan to build a subterranean public park on the Lower East Side. Called the “LowLine,” the underground park would add to the city’s amazing network of open spaces from the High Line to the proposed Waterfront Park in Brooklyn. But in order for what is currently an empty underground trolley terminal to become the Delancey LowLine, they need to raise funds. To that end, the Delancey Underground project is in the midst of a 75 day fundraising drive to raise $75,000. An anonymous donor has promised to write a check for $75,000 if other contributors can raise an equal amount of cash for the LowLine Summer Challenge by August 15. The $150,000 would be a huge boost to a project that has already scored the support of local businesses, community leaders and residents.

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The beauty of the Delancey Underground is not only its redefinition of “green space,” but its goal to use green technologies in order to keep the space well lit and ventilated while minimizing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and electricity needed to keep grass and trees growing beneath the city’s street level. And at a time when New York City continues to grow while real estate becomes only more expensive, the city’s leaders and stakeholders will have to redefine what “open space” exactly means.

The Delancey Underground will be more than just a funky underground space where locals and tourists can hang out. The project’s founders envision a year round program of farmers’ markets, education programs and special events. In other words, it would be a whole community – just an underground one.

+ Delancey Underground

Photos courtesy Raad Studio