Archive for the ‘9 reasons why the highline sucks’ Category
__SPACER__ Complete separation of traffic from urban areas sometimes makes places dead and being long and thin, linear parks really work when they can be used as a route from A to B. Mixing cycle traffic with linear parks is a good idea for everyone, but the Highline doesnt work as a place to cut through with stairs rather than ramps.
__SPACER__ When you create a park above street level you have to be careful that the negative aspects of the space underneath it dont cancel out the benefits above.<p /><p />There is often an initial phase where spaces underneath look good, but after a while these places tend to become depressing or fall into disrepair.<p /><p />The Highline should have been as much about the space beneath as it was about the park itself. For obvious reasons the focus has been on the park.
__SPACER__ Models and drawings with long shallow curves, like this one, look modern. Its more difficult to make a traditional, symmetric, square or oval park look good but these spaces usually work better as tranquil parks, precisely because they are less dynamic.<p /><p />The Highline has the natural shallow curves of a railroad. Before the days of computer models, Zaha Hadid, the designer of the project above, was famous for her set of railway curves which she used to draw seductive shallow curved presentation drawings.
__SPACER__ Most things look great when they first open, and its hard to imagine that the Highline could become a needle park, but there is a danger it could.<p /><p />Urban parks are always a trade off between making spaces open enough that they are naturally overlooked rather than security patrolled and closed enough that they create intimate spaces.<p /><p />Intimate spaces created by planting are hugely desirable in a city, but by being above ground, away from street life, the latitude to add extra intimacy is reduced by the fact that it will already be difficult to keep it from being scary at night.
__SPACER__ It takes a long time for planting in parks to mature. At the moment the Highline looks more like nascent greenery sprouting through cracks in the pavement.<p /><p />What works for the moment, is the Highline's novelty, as it becomes a mature park, the spaces underneath will require lots of money flowing into them to prevent them from being dank railway arches.<p /><p />There doesn't seem to be a 30 year plan for what is underneath the Highline.