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Want to visit the world's first underground park? Visit New York in 2018!

New York City, famed for being a concrete jungle, could become the world's first city to build an underground park complete with grass, trees, park benches, and sunlight. The project, dubbed The Lowline, hinges on solar technology.

travel Updated: Nov 29, 2014 19:04 IST
underground park

The-project-dubbed-The-Lowline-hinges-on-solar-technology-that-would-create-a-kind-of-remote-skyline-Photo-AFP

New York City, famed for being a concrete jungle, could become the world's first city to build an underground park complete with grass, trees, park benches, and sunlight.

Inspired by the city's High Line, an elevated rail line that was transformed into a public park in Manhattan's West Side, a team of engineers and entrepreneurs are working to reclaim an abandoned underground trolley terminal on the Lower East Side and give New Yorkers a new green space that would harness the sunlight and redistribute it underground.

The project, dubbed The Lowline, hinges on solar technology that would create a kind of remote skyline: After planting a collection of solar dishes at points around Delancey Street that have full access to the sun, the natural light is bounced back to a set of reflector shields which concentrate the light and "irrigate" or redistribute the energy source throughout the underground park.

The light would be used to help grow plants and trees underground and create a subterranean, urban oasis in a city where green space comes at premium and the population continues to grow.

The project would transform what used to be the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal below Delancey Street on the city's Lower East Side, which opened in 1908 but has been left abandoned and derelict since 1948.
Project leaders note that despite nearly six decades of neglect, the space still retains historic features like cobblestones, rail tracks and vaulted ceilings.
Likewise, because it's adjacent to subway tracks at the Essex Street subway stop, park visitors and subway riders would pass each other daily.

"Our vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world's most dense, exciting urban environments," developers say on their site.

In a promotional video, the team also gets a ringing endorsement from New York's 'it' girl of the moment, Lena Dunham, creator of the TV drama series "Girls."

"The idea of being able to create a sunlit, verdant atmosphere underground there's something so surreal, and it really feels like we're living in the future and the future is now."

If all goes according to plan the Lowline will be complete in 2018.

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