Lowdown on the Lowline, as of now…

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Lowdown on the Lowline, as of now…

LowLine_ProposedThe Lowline is the opposite of the High Line. A Grand Idea formally known as the Delancey Underground, the Lowine would be an underground park in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The Lower East Side has a long history of ethnic and class diversity.In recent years, the neighborhood has been transformed by development, putting low-income residents increasingly at risk of displacement. The Lowline would provide residents with 1.5 acres of green space. Since 160,000 people live within 1.7 square miles in the LES, a couple acres of green would be nice.

The idea dudes have suggested natural light would be directed below ground using fiber optics, they have even used Kickstarter to fund an experiment to prove their ideas. Artificial lighting would supplement the redirected sunlight and illuminate the space at night and when the sun is obscured. In theory, plant life will thrive.

LowLine_ExistingThe LES is a trendy neighborhood that was once an incubator of poverty. That’s why there is a trolley terminal there. A trolley terminal that has sat unused for more than 60 years.

Clearly unused and abandoned.

In NYC and most places, no proposal is safe from controversy and no space is without consequence–not even three blocks of derelict underground space.

The Lowline was conceived of six years ago, and today exists only as a not-for-profit advocacy group trying to bring the idea a reality. The first step will be to convince the MTA to give up the site to the City. Expectations, bureaucracies, and people collide over big ideas.

Maybe Governor Cuomo can step in and do some renderings?

In any event, for big ideas to happen, we need big leaders.

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