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NYC's High Line paves way for Reading Viaduct, other parks in the sky

University of Pennsylvania urbanism professor Witold Rybczynski writes about New York City's elevated park, the High Line II, and talks about Philly's proposed Reading Viaduct park in a New York Times op-ed.

THE second section of the High Line, the park built atop an abandoned elevated rail trestle on the west side of Manhattan, is scheduled to open next month. Like a movie sequel, High Line II will have some things that are the same -- more of those neat high-tech concrete planks underfoot and "peel-up" benches -- as well as some things that are different: a "woodland flyover" of dense vegetation; a lawn; and a dramatic glass cutout exposing traffic on the street below. Food carts and something called a wine porch are promised, as well as a Renzo Piano-designed restaurant.

The second phase will undoubtedly receive as much news media hoopla and public enthusiasm as the first, which opened in 2009. But its designers want it to be even more, a model for a new sort of town planning, dubbed "landscape urbanism." Indeed, High Line-type projects are being discussed for Chicago (the Bloomingdale Trail), Philadelphia (the Reading Viaduct), Jersey City (the Sixth Street Embankment) and St. Louis (the Iron Horse Trestle).

Source: The New York Times
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