Have a look at this 116-year-old abandoned trolley terminal below the Lower East Side, New York.
It is about to be turned into a lush green park! Yes, this will be NYC’s Lowline.
If you don’t think it’s possible, think again. The brains behind the project haven't pulled this idea out of thin air; they have actually gone to extraordinary lengths to research and find ways to make it possible.
Here’s their plan:
They will use street-level solar collectors to filter the sun about 20 feet underground to make the bedrock fit for planting.
Natural light would be directed beneath the city streets using fiber optics to develop an area in which trees and grass could grow.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work:
The sunlight passes through a glass shield above and is reflected and gathered at one focal point. It is then directed underground to be transmitted onto a reflective surface on the distributor dish underground and light it up with natural sunlight.
The dank and dark places will hence be able to sustain greenery by supporting photosynthesis, as well as light up the entire space during sunlight hours without using electricity.
The project is scheduled to be finished in 2018 and will look something like this:
The brain behind the project is Dan Barasch. He specializes in promoting socially innovative applications of technology and is the co-founder of the nonprofit Lowline project along with designer James Ramsey, a former NASA engineer. The entire project is expected to cost about $60 million in mostly private funds as well as some government money. Lowline has been endorsed by politicians and organizations such as Manhattan Community Board 3 and the Lower East Side business improvement district.
More than $1 million has been raised for research and design.
“We’re simply taking over a space no one was using in a densely populated neighborhood that lacks sufficient public space,” says Barasch.
The park would offer city residents a place of refuge and host art exhibits, music performances, readings and children’s activities.