The High Line Effect: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects The High Line Effect: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects

The High Line Effect: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects

by Jenna McKnight

November 16, 2012

Rendering: Biomorphis

Leith Walk
Designed by Biomorphis
Learn more about this project here and here.

These days, there seems to be a High Line for every city. Just rustle up some dying infrastructure, and you’re set! But, unlike other similar schemes, the Leith Walk proposal for Edinburgh takes a more nuanced approach. The project, by Biomorphis, seeks to create a living urban corridor that will bridge a green belt around the city. The design, which features repetitive measures of interlocking wood beams, would be constructed by local artisans using regional materials. Best of all, the public would be free to cultivate the park’s designated green spaces, freeing the project up from the mandate of tourism charters to be used by the community at large.

Photo: Superkilen

Designed by Superflex, BIG, Topotek1
Learn more about this project here.

Superkilen is a new urban park that cuts through the heart of Copenhagen’s diverse Nørrebro neighborhood, which is home to more than 50 nationalities. The mile-long park, which consists of three themed parts (“Red Square”, “Black Market”, and “Green Park”), is dotted with various pop artifacts and cultural mementos “sourced” from the home countries of the area’s inhabitants. Here, you’re just as likely to stumble across manhole covers from Paris and Islamic tiled fountains from Morocco as you are (ironic) neon Communist signage from Moscow and curvy benches from Brazil.

Photo: David Sundberg/ESTO

McCarren Pool & Bathhouse Renovation
Brooklyn/New York
Designed by Roger Marvel Architects
Learn more about this project here.

It took nearly 30 years for McCarren Pool to get back on its feet after it was closed in 1983. The pool reopened to much fanfare (and controversy) this past summer, but little argument could be made against Roger Marvel Architects’ sensible renovation, which includes new changing pavilions, meeting rooms and offices, and sports courts open to Brooklynites. Wood salvaged from the Coney Island boardwalk was repurposed to clad the pavilions, while original wire baskets were applied to the lobby ceiling as a decorative treatment. In the winter, the beach deck will be converted into an ice rink, making the pool a year-round destination.

Metropol Parasol
Designed by J. MAYER H. Architects
Learn more about this project here.

J. Mayer H.’s Metropol Parasol looms like a wild, strangely “organic” growth in the midst of old Sevilla, spreading its floppy mushroom caps above the city’s historic central market. As we’ve noted in the past, “Metropol Parasol is a shining success story about public space: the central market is now a thriving destination, as locals and foreigners alike are flocking to the plaza, and the contemporary agora has even become a gathering place for grassroots protest movements.”

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The High Line Effect: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects