It’s a chilly Thursday afternoon, and throngs of people from around the world have come to New York’s Chelsea neighborhood to take a walk on an abandoned rail line. Old railroad tracks obscured by grass and flowers peek out as the path winds among brand new towers. Tourists take selfies, office workers chow down on lunch and others just wander aimlessly.
This 1.45-mile stretch of railroad track, 30 feet above street level, is known as the High Line, and it serves as an oasis of greenery atop New York’s bustling streets. It is an example of taking a relic of infrastructure and reusing it to make a signature spot for a neighborhood. And it seems to be working. Residential towers are going up on all sides of the narrow park, and nearby property values are shooting up much faster than other structures just a few blocks further from the High Line. The park brings in people who might not otherwise come to the neighborhood.
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