Around the world parks are replacing asphalt and city-dwellers are discovering new green spaces just steps away. It seems government officials, citizens and activists are working together to reclaim abandoned or unused lots and structures in an attempt to make cities more livable and green. Here are 8 examples:

  • Paddington Reservoir, Sydney, Australia: This water reservoir was shut down in 1899 and subsequently became a garage, workshop and commercial garage before sections of the roof collapsed in 1991. The architecture firm Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was then commissioned to restore the building. They were supposed to cap-off the underground areas and build a new arrangement on top. But the firm fell in love with the ruins and instead decided to reveal the structure so the public could wander around it.
  • Cheonggyecheon Public Park, Seoul, South Korea: City planners realised their mistake after they paved over a natural stream to add a road that caused more traffic congestion. They decided to restore the place as a public park and the $900 million project broke ground in 2003. It was opened to the public in 2005 and is now a popular destination for locals and tourists.
  • Vitor Civita Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil: The Vitor Civita Park transformed a highly polluted area and added a sleek public space to the city. It is built over what was an incinerating plant between 1949 and 1989. The park was built using a wooden deck, which was elevated 90 centimetres from the ground and the new structures are surrounded by old and new vegetation.
  • The High Line, New York City: This is arguably the most famous project in this gallery. The High Line is Manhattan’s most recent green space and is built on top of an abandoned 1.45 mile-long railroad. The rail operated between 1934 and 1980 and carried meat, mail and agricultural goods to the warehouses and factories of the industrial West Side area.
  • Promenade Plantee, Paris, France: This was for a long time the only elevated park in the world (before the High Line). The promenade is a public space built on abandoned railroads that extend 2.8 miles in the twelfth arrondissement district of Paris. When it ran, the train connected the Bastille area to the eastern suburbs. After it stopped working in 1969, it lay defunct until the project to recover the area was begun in 1987. The park opened in 2000.
  • Ghost Train Park, Lima, Peru: This Park was built by Spanish group Basurama around an abandoned structure that was to be Lima’s electric train. The project was conceived as a way of giving the space back to the children and the community. It includes games produced from discarded tires and other recycled materials.
  • Pier 57 Park and Market, New York City: The transformation of New York City’s Pier 57 was announced last year with the intention of turning it into a park and market. The project will be designed by local firm YoungWoo & Associates and will include a market for small businesses and artisans, a cultural centre and a sky park to host performances and film projections conceived by the Tribeca Film Festival. Construction dates have not been announced yet.
  • Hofplein Viaduct, Rotterdam, Netherlands: Hofplein Viaduct is also a rail-rebirth project and is on its way to a major makeover. The structure carried Netherlands’ first electric railway line and served as a connection with The Hague in the early twentieth century. It will become a vibrant commercial and park area.
Jade Scully
Jade Scully is a copywriter excited about writing copy and stories, blogging about the world and editing. She currently and regularly publishes her stories on a number of blogs. Jade loves animals and hopes to begin writing copy for the animal rescue charity TEARS as her contribution to the cause.
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0 Responses to 8 Urban Spaces Around World Are Reborn as Green Parks

  1. Mamerito January 3, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    That’s good news to see such places a reclaimed. I wish such policies could be adopted in Uganda. Because, these days you can rarely find a park or free space within Kampala city where you can hang out with your family or read a romantic novel

  2. Tony Heiman January 3, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    Reminds me of the “Pigeon Paradox”; going “Green” is valuable as these measures improve urban air quality, cleans waterways, reduces urban diseases and promotes ecological diversity.

  3. Maria Flores February 4, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Unfortunately the electric train is now reviving in Lima – Peru. it will be ready to run by the end of this year. However, there is now a wonderful place called “The wonders of the Water” in Lima (almost center), where foreigners and locals enjoy beautiful views. I highly recommend to visit it. Considering that Lima is a quasi small valley in the middle of the coastal desert of the central Peru, it is a tribute to the river water (Rimac) we live from.

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