19 June 2011

New York: The High Line

Back from a holidays break in New York. One of the cities I always wanted to visit, it has not disappointed at all. In fact, I already want to go back.

Amongst all the places I went, one was on top of the list before I even got there, The High Line. A former elevated freight railroad transformed in the last few years in an amazing new urban park.

The Park runs from Gansevoort Street up to 30th Street, through the neighbourhood of Chelsea. Lucky enough, Section 2 of the High Line opened on the 7th of June, so I had the opportunity to see the new planted areas and spend a few relaxing hours with my friends.

Walking at a height of 5 to 7 m. over the streets of New York gives you a different perspective of the City, which makes this place even more peculiar.

But the real success of the whole park is that is being used at all times. It is never empty and is always full of people of all ages, wether is enjoying a nice walk, reading a book on their stylish seating areas or looking at the gorgeous planting.

The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the tracks for 25 years after trains stopped running. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species, like the ones that originally grew on the High Line's rail beds, which have been incorporated into the park's landscape. I am sure the input from Piet Oudolf into the final planting design had something to say to achieve such a great result.

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