8 June 2011

The High Line, Part 2

The High Line

The second section of The High Line opened to the public today. Once slated for demolition, the depression-era elevated railway has been converted into a unique public park running along the west side of Manhattan. The new section extends the Line another ten blocks — nearly doubling the park’s previous length. I’ve written about the Line, the amazing grassroots campaign behind its rescue and redevelopment, and their strategic use of graphics. And though I use these graphics below in presentations about campaign communication, I’ve never posted them here.

These infographics were produced by James Corner Field Operations and used in community meetings early in the redevelopment process. The images are more impressionistic than quantitative, but they really capture a sense of the vibrant growth, use, flora and fauna projected over the first 5 years of the Line. What New Yorker wouldn’t want to be right in the middle of that cluster of flowers and birds (especially if they didn’t have to leave Manhattan?)

For the full effect, click below for higher resolution versions.

High Line Ecology Emergence

High Line Program Emergence

What these graphics don’t capture is the incredible economic impact of the the Line. Gentrification in the Meatpacking District was underway well before redevelopment of the Line began, but the transformation of the far west side has astonished many. But then that was perhaps a different presentation — one of the first tactical moves of the campaign to save the Line was an economic redevelopment and feasibility study. That certainly has paid off.