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TreeHugger Says the Proposed Lowline in NYC is Not a Park. I say: Why Not?

Image above is a rendering of future Low Line park to be built under the streets of Manhattan.

I love TreeHugger. I have been an avid follower since its inception. Consistently, it is one of the best green news sources. Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger editor and writer, and I nearly met in his hometown of Toronto when I was invited by Tourism Toronto to visit and write about Green Initiatives. I have also had the pleasure of interviewing TreeHugger founder, Graham Hill.

Though I am a big fan, sometimes I find the content a bit puzzling. One such example is today's post by Lloyd Alter: "Don't call New York's proposed Low Line a park; it isn't."

But, I propose, why can't a park be underground?"

Alter says in the post: "Alexandra Lange didn’t think much of it either, but as this silly idea gets closer to reality, she notes that she isn’t mad at it anymore. Writing in Curbed, she also reiterates that this is no park."

Sorry folks, but this green advocate disagrees.

Image shows plan to bring sunlight underground. Image courtesy Low Line.

Recently, I published a post about Swale, a floating food forest on a barge. If we can have a floating Food Forest i.e. "parks" on barges, why can't we have them underground too? (Love you Swale!)

Lloyd Alter says: "Why not take back the streets and the parking lots and make that a real park with real natural light? Why not fix the ground plane instead of going underground?"

Here, here! Why can't we look at the whole city and make parks everywhere? Or, make everything park-like?

Image shows location of Low Line Park which is now an abandoned underground trolley station on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Image courtesy Low Line.

Not long ago, I was invited by my friends at Earth Day Initiative, (aka Earth Day New York), to participate in a tour on Earth Day, 2016, that included visiting the model of the Lowline Park. All of us on the tour thought it was really cool. We were enchanted to imagine how a former underground trolley station could be lit with natural light and transformed into a lush, living green oasis.

We don't have to choose between above and below ground when it comes to green. The sky's the limit.

Copyright 2016 Paul E McGinniss

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