An astonishing achievement which puts the wrangling over the Green Bridge in London (and its costs) to shame. The 1.45 mile long High Line in New York, the new urban park created on part of the disused elevated New York Central Railroad West Side Line, was opened in two phases in 2009 and 2011, running from the West Side Yard on 34th Street, down through Chelsea to the Meatpacking District near 14th Street.
It has played a crucial role in revitalising the area along its route from beginning to end, with redevelopment still going on at West Side Yard and at the Meat Packing District and the creation of a whole new art gallery district in Chelsea, several of the developments going underneath the High Line itself and incorporating its supporting structure. There are also substantial new residential developments, ensuring that the housing needs of the city are catered for. Major new developments along the route Frank Ghery’s relatively restrained IAC Corporation Building completed in 2007, Renzo Piano’s Whitney Museum opened in 2015 and, nearing completion, Zaha Hadid’s apartment block for Boffi, for which she has also designed a kitchen island for the apartments.
A great initiative, still ongoing, with new landscaping and changing art projects along the way, which has resulted in major economic and cultural benefits and is very popular judging by the number of people using it. The scale of ongoing new development is impressive and shows the benefits of such an initiative for urban regeneration and how the New York economy continues to motor ahead. One essential of the success has been to keep the actual alterations to the elevated railway as simple as possible, with good sized areas of paving for walking on, concentrating areas of landscaping, adding seating and stopping off places and using good quality robust materials, and to work with adjacent developers to incorporate landscaped areas and visually extend the apparent green space. .
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