New York's 1st Underground Park


A group in New York City is looking “to transform an abandoned trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of Manhattan into the world’s first underground park.” It has been raising funds for the project on Kickstarter and already has $34,500 more than the $100,000 it was aiming to raise (but, of course, you can still kick in).

The underground space will use solar technology for lighting and cutting edge design.

Of course, NYC doesn’t have a lot of space, especially Manhattan. Thus, it’s hard to add parks anywhere. Putting them (or farms) on top of roofs is one idea, but going underground may end up being a viable idea, too.

Very into this idea after discovering this underground trolley terminal, the people behind this project got to work trying to figure out how to do it.

We got to thinking: what if we could build a park– underground– even if the space lacked natural sunlight? So we explored using fiber optic cables to transfer sunlight below ground– to support the growth of plants and trees. As we shared this idea with others, people got excited. “An underground High Line for the Lower East Side,” they’d say. “Kind of like… a LowLine.” The nickname stuck.

We think a year-round public space will be valuable for everyone. Farmers markets and vendor stands can feature fresh produce and locally made goods, supporting local and sustainable businesses. Art installations, concerts, and performances can help showcase the incredible creative spirit of the Lower East Side. Youth programming and educational opportunities can offer rich experiences for kids and parents. And a safe haven from the hectic feel of Delancey Street will serve as relief in a very car-centric corner of Manhattan.

Very cool. I’d love to visit it if I get the chance to visit NYC again.

For a ton more details, check out the LowLine Kickstarter page.

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