Underline

10 years ago the High Line linear park opened in one of the few underdeveloped areas of Manhattan. Since then it has achieved universal acclaim as both a green amenity and as the catalyst for unlocking the regeneration of Chelsea and Hudson Yards. Wind forward 10 years and a new linear park is attempting to do the same for Miami. The ‘Underline’ follows a 10-mile stretch of similarly raised rail track; however, there are a couple of differences. Firstly, the park will, unlike its NYC equivalent, run under the tracks. Secondly, following the receipt of a recent grant, the project will look to integrate technology into the core of its design and provide the ‘connective tissue’ to drive engagement with the park. Linear parks have found favour in recent decades, perhaps as the opportunities to create large open parks has significantly diminished, whilst at the same time disused rail tracks from a bygone era have offered up opportunities. Beyond rail tracks (e.g. The Goods Line in Sydney, and Chicago’s 606), opportunities have been found around watercourses (e.g. the Lee Valley, London, and Mittellandkanal, Hanover), and walls (Berlin’s Mauerpark, Krakow’s Planty Park). The benefit of going linear is the transportation of people from an (established) neighbourhood to one which is less so. A grade level route like Miami, is porous and allows multiple entry points, whereas the High Line creates nodes of activity where the park comes to ground.