• Parks and Places

    “Impossible” park wins award. Can we learn anything from it?

The High Line

In the last few days, one of the world’s most novel and creative public parks won a prestigious urban design award. The co-founders of the High Line in New York were recognised for their vision that led to urban revitalisation and contribution to the local community.

While very different in nature to Centennial Park, we wonder if there is anything we can learn or take from this fantastic creation.

Have you visited the High Line? Tell us what you thought about the park and what you liked (or didn’t like).

Now, what is the High Line?

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side in New York.

Founded in 1999 by community residents the High Line’s preservation and transformation was achieved at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition

Founded in 1999 by community residents the High Line’s preservation and transformation was achieved at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition (photo courtesy David Hardie)

The park is run by a nonprofit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy.

The park is run by a nonprofit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy (photo courtesy David Hardie).

The park combines a mix of wilder and more manicured areas, providing a breadth of experience.

The park combines a mix of wilder and more manicured areas, providing a breadth of experience (photo courtesy David Hardie).

The High Line maintains a design that maintains the historical context of the structure, yet blends modern conveniences to cater for the many visitors who walk it every day.

The High Line provides a design that maintains the historical context of the structure, yet blends modern conveniences to cater for the many visitors who walk it every day (photo courtesy David Hardie).

So, what has this got to do with Centennial Park in Sydney?

Centennial Park is 125 years old, the High Line is almost five.

So, what can it teach us? Plenty.

The High Line shows how public parks can revitalise and bolster communities. It shows how a well designed and considered park can contribute culturally and socially to the society it serves. It demonstrates how, with a little vision, we can lift the ordinary to the extraordinary.

That’s what we want to achieve through the draft Centennial Park Master Plan.

No matter how old or young a public space is, we can help shape and improve its design. We can help ensure that the park is sustainable, and meets the needs of the community. We can make sure Centennial Park is a vibrant and connected public space that Sydney can remain proud of.

Centennial Park has been called the "Green Lungs" of the city, and this is why!

Centennial Park has been called the “Green Lungs” of the city, and this is why!

But we want you to be part of this important work.

We can also learn that a little bit of vision, and a lot of input and support from the community can go a long way.

We encourage you to visit our online exhibition now. You can review the draft Plan. You can complete a survey on the spot. Be part of the process and help shape the future of one of the world’s best urban parks.

 


 

The best part of Centennial Parklands is not just how it looks, but what you can experience here! Check out our October What’s On calendar and come and enjoy a green gem in Sydney’s crown – Centennial Parklands.

 

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