Image Credit: James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.
During the recent 2013 MAS summit for NYC, Joshua David, co founder of the High Line mentioned- “Most parks are places where people go to escape the city, The High Line is a place where you go to experience the city in new ways”
… and what an experience it has been! As we move onto the third and final section of this elevated park, Friends of High Line co-founder Robert Hammond and City councilman-elect Corey Johnson joined the design team at the School of Visual Art’s Beatrice Theater on Monday evening to present construction updates and unveil design concepts for the Spur- a unique space within the third section of the High Line.
In a city, such as New York, a neighborhood name holds a lot of weight. Beyond geographical terminology, our sense of place comes from the distinct characteristics we associate with a neighborhood that we then share with each other through descriptive vocabulary.
The potency of words in the city is something that is often forgotten, as names are dismissed as “just names” but in reality these terms and identifiers are our universal urban language that help make the complexities of urban living, more manageable.
Rendering of the Hudson Yards complex, via Bloomberg
The West Side skyline is getting a facelift as construction of Hudson Yards, a $15 billion development, has begun just north of the final section of the High Line above existing rail yards. The deal was reached in 2008 between the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Related Companies on the heels of a failed attempt to secure the 2012 Olympic games to be hosted in New York City. The Hudson Yards development will bring ten new high-rise buildings to the West Side filled with offices and luxury condos, retail space, as well as sustainable green areas, all situated above one of the busiest rail yards in the United States.
When Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York in 2001, no one predicted he would become a revolutionary, reshaping the city’s physical landscape, economy, and cultural character. Yet in 12 years he rezoned 40 percent of the city’s land, opened up much of its waterfront to development, created thousands of acres of new parkland, brought crime down to unmatched low levels, supported cultural institutions on an unprecedented scale, redesigned streets and public spaces to host bike lanes and pedestrian plazas, and stamped the city with his personal influence in a way that no other mayor ever has.
The Forum of Urban Design’s Next New York
Recognizing that New York may be facing momentous change as it says farewell to Bloomberg and elects its new mayor in the fall, the Forum of Urban Design—an eminent group of architects, planners, developers, civic leaders, and academics—held a series of breakfasts this spring to pitch and discuss bold proposals for what it called a “more competitive, livable, and sustainable New York.”
As recently as the late 90′s, the neighborhood around the High Line was once gritty, raw, and somewhat dangerous, while the elevated railroad itself was a mysterious and dilapidated structure. For better or for worse, due to the development of this infamous park, it is now saturated with new luxury residential buildings, posh hotels, upscale boutiques, glamorous restaurants, and tourists. As the area around the High Line thrives economically, there there has been some backlash against the gentrification. Therefore, it is no surprise that graffiti removal along the High Line has become symbolic of this gentrification and has been very controversial. People who are oppose the buffering say that this is erasing art as well as New York history.