Taking The Low Line

Urban revival has been a routine fascination of mine, from Pop-up Parks in San Francisco, Urban Gardens and deep reflection in Detroit, to Greening the Rubble in Christchurch. I like the spirit of continuous renewal behind these projects, using streets as a re-writable canvas, an opportunity to be creative in a way that improves people’s lives, every day.

Here’s another cool concept to breathe new life into a forgotten corner of New York. Inspired by the transformation of the city’s High Line, the idea is to turn an old trolley terminal, last used in 1948, into a hidden park, a green space under the streets. The park would be lit using fibre-optic technology that channels natural light into the space, a concept suggested by one of the two bright minds behind the project (ex-NASA and Google no less). Trees and vegetation would grow naturally, an underground oasis.

What’s great about this project is that it literally takes urban regeneration to another level. There’s a certain symbolism about greening your city’s foundations, especially in a VUCA world where responses to problems (whether municipal, national or global) often feel skin-deep. We need to let more light in and re-imagine dark places. Fresh thinking like this helps.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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