New York’s Highline - an old freight line that was transformed into a wonderful communal green space - has become a popular attraction in the Big Apple, offering a much needed respite for tourists and locals wanting to step away from the busy noise of the city.
Now, some optimistic entrepreneurs have teamed up to bring their 2011 conception of The Lowline a step closer to becoming a landmark of New York.
The underground green space, planned for an old trolley terminal below Delancey Street in New York’s Lower Eastside is being pitched as the world’s first underground park and the people behind it want to use the space to test interesting new developments in horticulture, solar energy, architecture, technology and engineering to make their place as much of a research project as a relaxation point for the people of New York.
Just how do you grow plants and cultivate a green space underground? The team say they will build a series of clever mirrors and tunnels that will take sunlight from above the terminal and direct it underground.
The idea has been in development for many years now but the latest step in funding is to help build the first lab in the space that will test these technologies and ideas and see just how viable the idea would be on a larger scale.
Speaking about the latest step on their campaign page, the people behind the project say: “Following the last few years of research, we want to see with our own eyes how our technology functions over time. We'll test how effectively we can re-direct sunlight remotely, by installing three solar collection systems on the roof of an abandoned former warehouse space, and distributing that light into the otherwise dark space.”
If they receive their funding and if they prove that the idea could actually work, New Yorkers will soon have to answer ‘above or below?’ to the common call of ‘let’s hang out’.
The video below explains more and you can see a detailed plan on The Lowline Kickstarter page.