Sustainable Construction

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Walking on The High Line, one discovers a hidden gem, an urban oasis of an above ground railroad park. The High Line is an amalgamation of live music, food vendors and the visitors speaking foreign languages. This park in the sky is a great example of sustainable development; it takes an old and used space and turns it into a lively, well-trafficked atmosphere.

It is imperative to find ways to sustain a population that is growing at exponential rates. The High Line exemplifies a public shared space that encompasses adaptive reuse.

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The Lowline embraces a similar concept to the High Line. The Lowline is a proposed plan to use the Delancy Street Trolley Terminal that is no longer in use and turn it into a below ground park. The park will maintain a natural atmosphere with plants that thrive from the light received from skylights in the park’s underground ceiling.

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The Lowline is a great start to allowing people to thrive underground as well as on the surface. There are similar proposed plans in Mexico City for an “Earth-scraper”. The Earth-scraper is a skyscraper underground. It will stretch almost 1,000 feet or 65 stories underground, containing floors for office use and for recreation.

We already understand how vital adaptive reuse is for sustainable development, but does our future lie within living under the Earth’s surface? What will our creative minds discover next? We once used to reach for the stars, now we reach for the Earth’s core.

Here is more information on the High Line.

Written by Erica Prince, Environmental Leadership Intern.

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