What is the Secret to the "High Line effect"?

As cities across America seek to replicate New York's celebrated new park, Charles A. Birnbaum distills the secrets behind the High Line's success.

What is the secret to the High Line's success? Determined leadership? Public/private partnerships? According to Birnbaum, "What really happened there is, first and foremost, a triumph of historic preservation and design. And, it's a big win for design ingenuity over the more commonplace tabula rasa approach that results in bulldozed sites and the eradication of cultural narratives."

The park and surrounding area's success proves that development and preservation are not diametrically opposed. Citing examples from San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and other locales, Birnbaum argues that, "a site-specific, adaptive reuse approach is a viable holistic alternative that embraces both change and continuity."

"Despites these successes, municipal officials and developers still blandly repackage the either/or scenario -- preserve or build anew -- to the detriment of extant, unique, regional expressions of landscape architecture and architecture that could otherwise be creatively reused (a more sustainable solution). Can't we measure success by recognizing that an authentic historic site -- which communicates a powerful sense of place -- can and should be sympathetically transformed? When did historic preservation values become such a negative?," implores Birnbaum.

Meanwhile, on our Interchange blog, Sam Hall Kaplan http://www.planetizen.com/node/57265" target="_blank">opines on why redevelopment a la the High Line may not be so desirable after all.

Full Story: The Real High Line Effect -- A Transformational Triumph of Preservation and Design

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00