How the High Line Network Helps Cities

Posted On June 21, 2017

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The High Line is a public park that spans along an elevated former freight rail line on Manhattan’s West Side.  The urban oasis stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues and is a popular destination for tourists and local New Yorkers. 

When creators Robert Hammond and Josh David pitched their idea to turn an unkempt, neglected elevated railway into a beautiful park, critics were skeptical.  According to Hammond, other city governments took notice of the High Line because of its ability to increase the value of the surrounding area and other benefits.  Since it opened, the High Line has attracted wealthy residents and the opening of other stores, restaurants, and hotels. 

Today the idea is going national.  The High Line Network now includes 19 projects in major metropolitan areas across North America, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Toronto.  Hammond stated, “what we want the cities to understand is the other issues–not just the economic impacts but the social impacts as well, [the issues] used to be about fundraising and design, and people are realizing that the most critical point in these projects is social equity around their neighborhoods.”

When large urban areas face limited land availability, upcycling unused or abandoned space is a way to turn neighborhoods around in terms of value and livability.  The High Line Network is a way to connect likeminded developers to share what works and what does not work with their sustainability projects.  To learn more about the High Line Network, click here to access resource


Sources: Fast Company, Friends of the High Line