When the LowLine Exhibit opened in September, we brought you the first look at this exciting project. Now, Vice has interviewed Lowline founders James Ramsay and Dan Barasch about their concept for the world’s first underground park, what they envision, and how they hope to accomplish it. New York City is known for its abundance of parks that are open so city goers are free to take a stroll, sit and people watch, or get some fresh air. However, The Delancey Underground is a project that takes the combined elements of city and park to a whole new level, as it is an initiative to build the first underground park in an abandoned trolley terminal in the New York City subway system. The park, also named the Lowline, is headed by project founders Dan Barasch and James Ramsey, who have devised technology that uses collectors and fiber optic wire to funnel sunlight from outside, shining natural daylight down on the park and allowing enough light in for plants to thrive.
Barasch and Ramsey have raised $150,000 through Kickstarter so far, some of which went to launching a full-size exhibition near the proposed site. The founders hope that combining the Kickstarter funds with donations, grant money, public money and revenue from some shops inside the space will help cover construction and maintenance. The Lowline has been proposed to Lower East Side alliances, the Parks department and the local community board, which have endorsed the project. The only one left to get on board is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the terminal. Although MTA hasn’t committed to a particular proposal yet, it is focused on gathering “creative entities to look towards doing revenue generating projects” for the abandoned station. Although the future of the station is not set in stone, Barasch and Ramsey are determined to bring the Lowline to life, which would transform the Lower East Side and the way everyone thinks about parks. See here for more information. Get in touch with the author @chelspineda.