Friday, April 13, 2012

New York's High Line to be followed by an underground park dubbed the Low Line

Plans for the world's first underground park moved a step closer to reality with a Kickstarter funding drive that attracted donations of more than $150,000, surpassing the $100,000 target. The pledges - most between $10 and $50 - will enable concept leaders Dan Barasch and James Ramsay to conduct a scale model of the subterranean park.

Dubbed the Low Line, the idea for the park came after Barasch heard about New York's underground spaces from an MTA employee. "There are 13 acres of these kind of spaces that are unused," he said.

The park will be developed in a 1.5 acre terminal built in 1903 for trolley trains to shuttle passengers between Brooklyn and Manhattan. When the trolley service ended in 1948, the terminal closed and has lain dormant ever since.

With no natural light, the underground terminal isn't an ideal location for what the designers hope will become a public space supporting farmers markets, concerts and art installations, but the Low Line will rely on fibre optic cables to transfer sunlight below ground. The designers say the light will carry the necessary wave lengths to support photosynthesis, allowing plant life to flourish underground.

How long will it take to create? New York's celebrated High Line took ten years to gain public and official support, but Barasch is hoping to build the Low Line within 5 years.
Image: MTA underground space targeted for development