New York glam­our comes to Peck­ham

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Front Page -

This south Lon­don pro­ject along an old coal rail­way could trump New York’s High Line. By Tim Richard­son

Ev­ery­one wants a High Line. That has been the case since 2009, when the cel­e­brated park of that name, cre­ated on a dis­used el­e­vated rail­way, was un­veiled in New York’s Chelsea dis­trict. The plant­ings by Piet Ou­dolf have been hugely praised, like­wise the over­all de­sign by Bri­tish land­scape ar­chi­tect James Cor­ner. It’s a must­see for tourists, and not just those in­ter­ested in gar­dens and parks, mak­ing the High Line the most im­por­tant piece of new public land­scape de­sign to have been cre­ated in the past half-cen­tury.

Var­i­ous cities have tried to em­u­late that suc­cess, partly be­cause may­ors now see new parks as ex­cel­lent “legacy projects”. There has been talk of a “Low Line” in Chicago and there is also the pro­posed Gar­den Bridge in Lon­don (although, in the lat­ter case, it will be mainly the public who pay, as op­posed to the pri­vate donors who funded the High Line).

Most of these schemes can be viewed as tro­phy projects cre­ated mainly for the greater glory or profit of the politi­cians and spon­sors in­volved, with the needs of the public sec­ond. To my mind, the post-High Line pro­ject that has been en­vis­aged most closely in the spirit of the orig­i­nal, and in some ways trumps it, is the Peck­ham Coal Line in south Lon­don. Barely more than a twin­kle in the eye at the mo­ment, it will be un­der half

Man­hat­tan trans­fer: the High Line in New York, top; an artist’s im­pres­sion of the Peck­ham pro­ject

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