The final section of the celebrated High Line park, created from a disused New York el-train track and now one of the most celebrated public spaces in the US, has just got the go-ahead to be started.

The new segment will wrap around old rail yards and a segment once used to connect the rail line to the loading docks of the central post office will become a social vantage point to the lower city.

The urban park’s signature ‘peel up’ benches fashioned from cantilevered sleepers will be joined by ‘peel up’ workstations, water features and picnic tables. Rubberised girders will become cool climbing frames.

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It’s a regeneration that’s proved such a PR draw that now every self-respecting, eco-savvy major city seems to want one…including London, with Boris Johnson launching a design competition to find London’s equivalent. Take a look at a few wry suggestions on where we could stick it here.

In conjunction the Garden Museum is hosting a weekend symposium considering ‘How to Raise $100 Million’ fr such a project, alongside a talk by Oudolf himself: ‘Self-seeder Inspired: High Line Planting Design’.

Peter Hammond, one of the founders of the High Line, says Oudolf’s varied landscapes are a primary factor behind the success of this popular park. He writes “the range and complexity of Piet’s plantings give visitors reasons to come back again and again. Week after week, month after month, there are lessons in discovery.”

Noel Kingsbury adds in a new book on the plantsman: “The design of the planted areas emphasizes the feel of spontaneity — feathered paving makes it look as if the plants are actually beginning to cover the concrete. The design allows a planting pattern where open meadow dissolves into half-open woodland, then into a fuller woodland area of dense, small trees with underplanting to envelop the visitor more fully as the length of the park is traversed.”

Here’s an article on ‘the Highline effect‘ in the Huffington Post.

And here’s the Highline’s own blog postings on the plants of this slice of countryside in the city, popular with locals, tourists and politicians alike.


Image credits:  High Line Segment 3 Google Map, courtesy of Friends of the High Line, 10th Avenue spur, Peel-up bench variations and Interim walkway / James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Portrait Joel Sternfeld