Walking The Highline
by Josh Bingham, The Pedestrianist
I visited this elevated, linear park, called The High Line, two weeks ago. There are many elements that can be seen in Bingham’s video which make this much more than a walk above the city on an abandoned railroad track.
And, indeed it is. It’s helping to revitalize this corner of New York.
Monocle magazine recently interviewed James Corner, the landscape architect for The Highline. In the video interview, he speaks to the advancement of the landscape architectural field, which he sees as having gone far beyond the misconception of simply gardening and into engineering. He convincingly argues that their work is “absolutely necessary for the healthy functioning of cities.” He also comments that, “high quality design of public space should not be something that comes after the fact, but something we invest in now,” and how spaces like The Highline can be real “economic catalysts”.
He’s asking for more intentional design. We live in an over-engineered environment that hasn’t always considered it’s unintended consequences. Part of the task for reclaiming our public spaces, including streets, is to lessen the focus on purely functional engineering solutions; we need innovative design that is cross-disciplinary.
We also need more beautiful reclaimed spaces like The Highline.
(Photos by Gary L Howe, minus the archive image)