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Cow - High Line - NYC - Untapped Cities -001Giant Cow High Line. Image via of Friends of High Line.  

We all know New York’s High Line as an iconic, elevated outdoor park overlooking Chelsea’s west side. But what if instead of a green, modern park with picturesque views, it was a fun rollercoaster? Seems crazy, right? But back in 2003, before the vision of the High Line had been fully developed, Friends of the High Line asked the public to submit what they wanted to do with the abandoned freight train track. They organized a competition called, “Designing the High Line.”

Friends of the High Line stated that the purpose of the competition was to provoke public debate about what to do with new community space and to inspire the actual design team to think creatively. Contestants understood that the competition was purely conceptual and the winning design was not actually going to be built. After receiving 720 entries from over 36 countries, they got some pretty imaginative responses.

In honor of the Back to the Future Day, a day filled with the question, “what if the future had turned out like this?” Friends of the High Line decided to release some of their 2003 submissions. As we’ve covered in our top 10 secrets of the High Line, the design chosen was inspired by the Coulée Verte in Paris but see if you can spy any signs of these other proposals in the park.

Rollercoaster - High Line - Untapped Cities - NYC - Chelsea-001Rollercoaster High Line. Image courtesy of Friends of High Line.

water fall - High Line - NYC - Chelsea - Untapped Cities -001Waterfall High Line. Image via of Friends of High Line. 

Gondola - High Line - Untapped Cities - NYCGondola High Line. Image via of Friends of High Line. 

Garden - High Line - Untapped Cities - NYC - Chelsea -001Overgrown High Line. Image via of Friends of High Line. 

People in boxes - High Line - Untapped Cities - NYC - Chelsea-001People in Boxes (?) High Line. Image via of Friends of High Line. 

High Line - stadium - Friends of High Line - Untapped Cities - NYC -001Stadium High Line. Image via of Friends of High Line. 

A Nudist Pool High Line. Image via cargocollective.com.

Super Industrial High Line.  Images via cargocollective.com

Next, read about the top 10 secrets of the High Line and  10 High Line inspired projects around the world.

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