After the success of NYC's High Line, this is what the Lowline may look like

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The Lowline: The World's First Subterranean Green Space

New York City's High Line has attracted a massive amount of tourists and locals on its path that spans between 34th Street and Gansevoort Street, making for an extremely pleasurable walk through rich vegetation and marvels of urban design. The High Line is a huge success, and the city is already moving forward to the next project: the Lowline.

The Lowline is going to be the first underground park that uses technology to harness solar energy and let plants grow without even going above the surface. The location for the Lowline is a historic trolley terminal under the Lower East Side, which has been abandoned for 48 years and is about to come back to life. The first step is to open a street-level model that will let the public get a taste for what the final project, expected to be completed by 2020, will look and feel like. Here is a preview:

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After the success of NYC's High Line, this is what the Lowline may look like
The Lowline Lab is seen in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pineapple grows inside the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A full spectrum of light is filtered in from above the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Plants grow inside the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Plants grow inside the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Plants grow inside the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Lowline Lab is seen in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Plants grow inside the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Welcome and information signs are displayed at the entrance to the Lowline Lab in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. An underground park in New York City's Lower East Side, complete with real flora and fauna, might sound like some sort of urban sci-fi fantasy. But it's closer than you think. The Lowline is a plan to turn an abandoned trolly terminal under Delancey Street into a public green space using special technology that pipes sunlight underground. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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According to the Gothamist, Lowline executive director and co-founder Dan Barasch explained that the current space is a test to see how the technology and the landscape will work. The Lowline will feature a variety of plants from moss to philodendrons to pineapples, ferns, and mushrooms. While the preview area measures about 1,000 square-feet, the final area will span across a massive 50,000 square-feet.

The site is currently operated by the MTA, and we need to navigate a bit of bureaucratic process to transfer the legal rights of the space from MTA control to city control, and then we'd become the city's non-profit partner running it as a public park. On the fundraising front, we have to raise about $70 million to build it, and it's going to take a couple of years to raise that capital, hopefully from all kinds of sources: public sources and private sponsorship, corporations and foundations.

Dan Barasch


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