Elevated Landscapes, or Railbanking

New images and a video of the High Line in New York has prompted a ricochet of references of examples of biologically domesticated infrastructures.

paris promenade plantee Vergely

There is the promenade plantée. Designed by Jacques Vergely (landscape architect) and Philippe Mathieux (architect), the promenade is a 2.8 mile elevated park in Paris’ 12th arrondissement that extends from Opera Bastille to the eastern city limits. It reinhabits a 19th century railway viaduct abandoned since 1969.

bloomingdale trail chicago

[Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago]

Which can be extended to regional sized versions of domesticating dormant infrastructure. Commonly called railbanking.

Railbanking (as defined by the National Trails System Act) is a voluntary agreement between a railroad company and a trail agency to use an out-of-service rail corridor as a trail until some railroad might need the corridor again for rail service. Because a railbanked corridor is not considered abandoned, it can be sold, leased or donated to a trail manager without reverting to adjacent landowners. The railbanking provisions of the National Trails System Act as adopted by Congress in 1983 have preserved 4,431 miles of rail corridors in 33 states that would otherwise have been abandoned.

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