Underground Park Prototype On Display In New York City

If built, the "Lowline" park will occupy an abandoned underground terminal and be populated with vegetation that gets its sunlight via advanced "remote skylight" technology.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

In response to the success of the High Line -- a Manhattan park built atop a stretch of elevated train tracks -- developers are working on the Lowline, a park that will eventually inhabit an abandoned underground trolley terminal. Starting tomorrow, New Yorkers can get a glimpse of the plan at an aboveground warehouse designed to resemble the final product, which is being proposed as a 5500-square-meter park that will have a five-meter-high ceiling. Sunlight will come via special "remote skylights" that capture energy and distribute it using lenses and reflectors. As for the vegetation, developers are using plants that typically don't need much light, such as those found under forest canopies.

What's the Big Idea?

Industrial designer Edward Jacobs "sees the Lowline as an extension of city residents' efforts to make use of abandoned space to improve their environment through parks, gardens and other environmentally friendly projects." Unfortunately, it will be a while before the Lowline becomes a reality: Assuming the developers even get permission from the city to build the park, the building itself is estimated to take between five and eight years.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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