- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
Having walked the New York High Line on a number of occasions and been lucky enough to be a part of the design team for the project, it represents for me an incredible piece of public realm that should change the way municipalities think about their under-utilised urban assets.
The fact that the modest funding of a re-imagined piece of public realm can generate an increase of nearly $1bn (and with the Hudson Rail Yards project probably well over $2bn) of new investment in New York is amazing. But then add the number of visitors into the equation - well over 3.5million people walked the High Line last year – half of them coming from New York’s population of approximately 9 million) – now that’s staggering. This, in my view, elevates the High Line from a simple park to a major urban transformation project and one that exemplifies the benefits of thinking of assets in the long term and providing a whole life cycle approach to projects.
I’m sure there are many that have and will be reviewing the success of the High Line in great detail, however there are themes within the project that should be recognised as key success factors for future projects in the urban realm, including:
The above is not an exhaustive list by any means and does not apply to purely large city scale projects. Any project in the urban realm must have a strong vision that connects it with the community and other stakeholders, and is planned and delivered to balance cost and value whilst providing a response that is future proofed and resilient. Within Buro Happold we refer to this as the Living City approach – a recognition that many factors play roles in shaping and achieving successful and sustainable urban development.
Buro Happold provided the lead structural, MEP and infrastructure engineering design for Phases 1 and 2 of the High Line project and currently is designing the final phase of the High Line with James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio Renfro .
For further High Line reading go to New York's High Line: Why cities want parks in the sky