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KunstlerCast #86: The High Line (NYC)

Rails to Freakish Parks

Released: Oct. 29, 2009.


James Howard Kunstler discusses two major projects that have recently turned 19th century railroad structures into parks: the High Line in lower Manhattan and the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The High Line is a unique park in New York City, built upon a former elevated rail line that used to bring trains through buildings. Although the High Line gives reprieve to New Yorkers, Kunstler finds it to be an accidental freak of urban nature. We would benefit more from the deliberate creation of beautifully designed streets and boulevards at grade level. The Walkway Over the Hudson is an extremely long railroad bridge that now serves as a pedestrian park. On the plus side, Kunstler believes this type of project might protect the bridge so that it doesn’t completely fall apart. But he finds it tragic that America has discarded the major investments it once made in a rail system. A listener caller who is an urban planner in Vancouver shares his thoughts on adaptive reuse of buildings.

 

Direct Download:
KunstlerCast_86.mp3
(40 MB | 34:58 mins.)
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1-(866) 924-9499 toll-free

Click on the images above to view a larger version. The first four photos are of the High Line. The last three photos are the Walkway Over the Hudson.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

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