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Queensway Rendering-High Line-Queens-NYC

Since late 2011, there has been much debate about what to do with the proposed QueensWay, a “Highline-style” park to be converted from the former LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch. We explored the 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railroad when the QueensWay plan was only just beginning to germinate. Now, we’re witnessing the emergence of full-fledged and plausible designs.

In August of 2013, Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) hosted a competition to attract ideas about how to make the potential QueensWay a success. Awards were announced this month, and it is clear that the competition fostered a myriad of diverse and unique designs. Friends of the QueensWay, leading advocates of the movement, recently released more renderings of the proposed park. In the following design, it appears that the current railroad tracks in Queens would be transformed into a lush, woodsy garden.

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Image via Friends of the QueensWay

The proposal includes both bicycle and pedestrian paths, as well as outdoor exercise space, performance areas, and community gardens. Feasibility studies have even discussed the option of a zip line! Of course, these renderings present just one possibility out of 120+ submissions. Friends of the QueensWay will announce the final design in June, but they will continue to accept ideas during community workshops.

QueensWay-Rendering-2-Queens-ParkImage via Friends of the QueensWay

Queens isn’t the first to craft plans for an elevated park; abandoned sites and railways across the world are looking to the High Line as an example of how to rethink and reuse space. Any physical QueensWay construction wouldn’t begin until 2016, so in the mean time, you can get a feel for the current QueensWay with our 2-minute video! Also, be sure to check out select designs from the ENYA competition on display at the NYC Center for Architecture in July.

Scroll more for more ideas from the QueensWay competition:

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Read more about The QueensWay on Untapped Cities and follow the updates at The QueensWay Facebook page.

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