Preservation, Art + Urban Renewal

Posted on by Lauren M

It's springtime in New York...  and this season, locals and visitors alike will be enjoying growth and renewal in both the natural and built landscapes, as the city’s highly successful and well-received redevelopment project, the High Line Park Park: Section 2,  opens next month.


As discussed in a previous post, the reuse and preservation of this previously abandoned 1.5 mile elevated rail system was designed to have a positive environmental impact, as well as to encourage and promote cultural engagement and provide for public art opportunities. 

With Section 2 opening next month, the park, and its benefits to the public, will double in size. For an overview of the design in context, see the animation of Sections 1 and 2 below, or visit this link.  

A significant part of the design of the High Line is aimed at community-building and engagement, with the use of gather spaces designed into the landscapes, as well as education and events, including a public art program.   The High Line’s current art commission, Space Available, a series of rooftop structures by artist Kim Beck.


A description of the installation from

‘A series of three sculptures are installed on roofs of buildings close to the High Line. They integrate seamlessly into the environment of the High Line neighborhood, echoing existing billboards and buildings in partial states of construction. The existence of the three reinforces their visibility and invites visitors to rethink the logic of what they are seeing.’

The two-dimensional planes, cut to appear as three-dimensional empty billboards, create optical illusions, inciting a re-evaluation of our surroundings and the urban context.  

As the viewer moves through the park and changes perspective, the illusion is revealed and initiates a thoughtful consideration of the surroundings, as conveyed in the short video below.

Space Available is an example of how this type of creative urban redevelopment can serve as a platform for increased social and cultural revitalization, a key component to achieving truly sustainable cities.  For more information on past and upcoming public art projects, visit The High Line- it's also a great resource learn more about the project in general, as well as a place to get the latest development news and construction updates.

To check out a more in-depth neighborhood context map of the site with the various design elements and components, with images, graphics and text, visit this link, and enjoy!