A perfect example of green re-purposing- turning an aging and abandoned elevated railway into a public greenspace. The High Line Park in New York city is probably my favorite urban walkway (with Seattle’s SAM Sculpture Park not far behind) with it’s architectural elements, art displays, and multi-use abilities.
Originally opened in 1934 to reduce the on-street crossing accidents and deaths, this 1.45 mile stretch of railway runs along the lower west side of Manhattan. The increasing use of trailer trucks to deliver goods eventually shut the tracks down in 1980 and was slated for demolition. It sat unused until re-development began in 2006 and the first section opened in 2009 to the public as a walkable greenspace.
Currently it spans a little more than a mile with another half mile slated for re-development and features all sorts of plants and trees paying homage to the hearty and resilient sproutings of neglect before it was redeveloped.
I particularly love the sunchairs on rails, intersection and street amphitheaters and elevated decks and walkways throughout. It really is a landscape architecture wonder with the unique benches, integration of the old rails, new concrete and plantings, all interacting in a very artistic, visually pleasing way. There really should be more spaces like this, and I hope it inspires!