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Rendering of the High Line, a green future pro...Image via Wikipedia

The High Line–world’s most innovative urban park (so far)– opened last week in New York City. Betsy and I visited it today. It’s beautiful, functional, and inspiring.

The High Line was an overgrown and abandoned elevated railroad line slated for demolition in a decaying neighborhood. A couple of dreamers with no particular qualifications met at a public hearing and advanced the idea that it should become a new public park. Ten years later, it is so. (History, Design Slideshow, my photos)

We were impressed by a number of things.

The merging of old and new, industrial and natural. (right)

The success of the social design and the instant community (below; note the kid- and wheelchair-friendly bleachers)

And the unity-in-diversity of the vistas.

And above all the demonstration that regular people can turn radical visions into life-enhancing realities.

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