Green And High Up: Great Urban Spaces

With cities getting more and more cluttered, planners are becoming increasingly cunning when trying to provide the citizenry with a breath of fresh air.
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With cities getting more and more cluttered, planners are becoming increasingly cunning when trying to provide the citizenry with a breath of fresh air.

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Parks and green spaces are starting to crop up in the most unlikely of places, from old transport routes, to station rooftops and disused industrial sites. So take a brief, rejuvenating stroll through some of the most interesting urban spaces…

HIGH LINE – MANHATTAN
A forgotten stretch of disused freight railway line on the west side of Manhattan has been transformed into one of the city’s greatest success stories as New Yorkers have taken the High Line to their hearts. A mile long stretch of elevated track running through the Chelsea and Meatpacking districts, its combination of unusual plants, gourmet foods and calm have become a hit with tourists and residents alike. It’s now the city’s second most popular cultural attraction.

PARIS – JARDIN ATLANTIQUE
While the Promenade Plantée (the inspiration for the High Line) is far better known, this garden space, positioned on top of the busy Gare Montparnasse station, is less celebrated and so less teaming with tourists. As well as hectares of lawn and exotic trees and plants there are also tennis courts and a children’s playground.

NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY – SINGAPORE
Unlike many city rooftop gardens that are completely hidden from view, the School of Art Design, and Media in Singapore wanted everyone to enjoy the incredible grassed surface of the campus. The lawned roof swoops down to street level, creating this unique, memorable trail way that is an architectural, as well as a horticultural marvel.

ACROS FUKUOKA BUILDING – JAPAN
This schizophrenic space appears to be just a regular office building when viewed form one angle, then transforms into a vast hillside forest as you turn a corner. Located in downtown Fukuoka City, it merges a street-level park with a terraced roof, fitted with over 35,000 plants.

KENSINGTON HIGH STREET ROOF GARDENS – LONDON
One of Europe’s largest roof gardens is tucked away on top of the former Derry and Toms department store in this swanky west London district. The 1.5 acre site is divided into three distinct areas, with Spanish, Tudor and an English woodland garden all featuring, plus a gourmet restaurant and an exclusive private clubhouse are also on site.