It is called Lowline and spreads like a wildfire. Lowline is a planned underground park in the vacant Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you and it is not a typing error. However, if that wouldn’t be enough: Lowline received the stamp of approval from the city’s Economic Development Corporation. As a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction, it will be one of the most well-known public parks in the world.
“If Manhattan was restructured to be proactive in resetting the climate, other cites may follow. How can we do this? This next version of New York is dependent on planning and preparation. This next version of New York is dependent on us.” Our friend Mitchell Joachim of @terreform_one wrote a great article on @bbcfuture_official on what a future NYC could look like. The Lowline is cited as one example of how “some of this city of tomorrow is already taking shape”. ? Andrew Einhorn
After about 80 years vacancy, one-acre just below Delancey Street will get alive. Lowline was open for trolley passengers between 1908 and 1948. After the discontinuation of service many features, like remnant cobblestones, vaulted ceilings and crisscrossing rail tracks, make it particularly interesting. According to Lowline, the site is located in one of New York’s least green areas. Interested park visitors and subway riders can get off at the adjacent JMZ subway track at the Essex Street subway stop.
Cutting-edge sunlight-capturing technology illuminates Lowline
Even if the lush paradise will be under the earth’s surface, it will be brightly enough illuminated. High-tech solar projectors on the surface will beam the sunlight to the underground. The sun collectors follow the path of the sun throughout the year. Fiber optic channel the sunlight through the street to the subterranean subway station. Large domes on the ceilings distribute the channeled sunlight for humans, plants, trees and grass.
Planned by James Ramsey and Daniel Barasch, Lowline is expected to cost $60 million to build. Further $4 million are needed for maintenance annually. One year ago they collected more than the envisaged $200,000 on Kickstarter for a long-term testing exhibition called the Lowline Lab. They opened it October 2015 and attracted about 70,000 visitors. A further crowdfunding campaign would be beneficial to finance the building costs.
The opening is planned for 2021.