London's Rushing to Copy New York's High Line Park for Its Economic Effects

How often do you find yourself in awe of innovation in parks?

The High Line park in New York—built atop abandoned elevated freight rail line in Manhattan—is, first and foremost, very cool. How often do you find yourself in awe of innovation in parks? But it is the economic effects of the major investment in the park that have other cities particularly interested in replicating the park's unusual wildflower-in-the-sidewalk feel, says The Guardian:

Now, 12 years on, New York's park in the sky attracted more than 3.7 million visitors last year, has generated $2bn-worth of private investment surrounding the park and is predicted to exceed $900m in new tax revenues for the city over the next 20 years.

Such figures are not to be sniffed at. For what started out as a rescue attempt by two neighbourhood residents (Hammond and Joshua David) with no design background, no plan and no money, has created the city's second most popular tourist attraction after the Museum of Modern Art. It is decisive evidence that it is increasingly the quality of our parks and public spaces, not the towering ambition of our skyline, that make our towns and cities stand out.


I don't know what else could possibly make a city consider plans for a park "as a public experience and urban mushroom farm," but that's precisely the result of a contest called A High Line For London. (For my part, I'd rather luxuriate atop abandoned elevated rail lines than in abandoned subterranean ones, but maybe they'll be laughing in London in 12 years, too—see also the "Low Line.")

Not to be missed on that site are the runners-up, which include double-decker buses with green roofs, sparrow colonies, and insect hotels.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user David Berkowitz.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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