Friday, June 12, 2009

A Public Space, Elevated


The first time that I heard about the High Line in New York City it was still merely a concept that existed only in pictures, much like the conceptualization at right from the Four Mile Run restoration master plan.

The Four Mile Run plan envisions restoration of the stream for a variety of active and passive use from Shirlington and Nauck down to the Potomac River. While much of the plan focuses on naturalizing a flood control project (also known as a 'drainage ditch'), other parts of the plan envision reusing unused, former industrial structures for recreation. The old railroad bridge in Potomac Yard pictured above is one such example.

The transformation of the High Line in NYC from a rusting relic to a vibrant urban park is in many ways similar to the vision of the Four Mile Run restoration project. The planning for the High Line began just about 10 years ago, much about the same time as talk about Four Mile Run restoration began. So it was welcome news this week that the High Line is now open:
After Years of Advocacy, Newly Renovated High Line Opens - NYTimes.com

For now the Four Mile Run restoration exists mostly in concept, but elements are coming closer to fruition. Funding is becoming available for a demonstration project between Mt Vernon Avenue and Route 1 and planning on the Four Mile Run Park expansion is due to begin soon. But the news about the High Line is a reminder of what a group of people can accomplish and that hard work can bring concepts into reality.

For a slide show presentation of the High Line, see:
A Public Space, Elevated - The New York Times
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