New York has undertaken several projects over the years in an effort to beautify its stark, gridded streets. There was the Park Avenue Malls, turning major intersections like those at Madison Square and Times Square into seating and entertainment areas, bike lanes, and Summer Streets. But this new proposal from Perkins Eastman Architects certainly puts the rest to shame, as they’d like to turn a more-than-40-block stretch of Broadway into one big linear park.
First spotted by Dezeen, the Green Line concept envisions a park that stretches along Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square, connecting these two hubs with Madison Square, Herald Square, and Times Square. The park would be open only to pedestrians and bicyclists, save for emergency vehicles needing to bypass traffic. Unlike other linear parks like the High Line and Lowline, the Green Line would be at street level, creating what the architects feel is “much needed active and passive recreational space in the heart of the city.”
Perkins Eastman principal Jonathan Cohn says of the project: “Recognizing that green public space is at a premium in the city, and proximity to it is perhaps the best single indicator of value in real estate, the Green Line proposes a new green recreational space that is totally integrated with the form of the city.”
Under Mayor Bloomberg, Broadway saw several improvements, including a street-long bike lane and the closure of Times Square to vehicular traffic. The new proposal will also help manage drainage, as water will be absorbed into the soil rather than drained over the pavement, and permeable paving stones and bioswales will help manage runoff. “It is an excellent swath to begin groundwater recharge. Rather than allowing stormwater to enter the underground sewer system, where during heavy rain and snow storms it combines with untreated wastewater and discharges directly into the city’s waterways, much of the rainwater could be allowed to percolate directly into the earth,” said Cohn.
It would take a long while before the Green Line could come to fruition, especially considered it runs through several community boards and would need approvals from many city agencies, but we’re interested to see how this turns out.
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All renderings via Perkins Eastman