Right before Rob and I left for a “significant anniversary” celebration–a trip to PARIS!!–I got the latest issue of ORION. As part of the Infrastructure series, they ran a photo series about the High Line in New York. The High Line is mostly completed, and very cool. An elevated train track has been converted into green space:
Seeing the images reminded me that there’s a similar park in Paris, which I learned about years ago thanks to the movie Before Sunrise, the first in what turned into Richard Linklater’s series of “before” films. So, off we went, in search of a romantic day and the progenitor of the High Line. (Yes, we found both.)
The Promenade Plantee is in the 12th, and we started at the beginning, at the Viaduc des Arts. It’s about 20 years further along than the High Line, so the plantings are much more established.
ORION was giving the High Line folks serious props for the thoughtful way they engaged decaying infrastructure, and used it as an opportunity to not only redress a problem but also to solve other problems beautifully at the same time. And they deserve it! But a little credit to others who’ve done similar projects can help all of us remember that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, that there are lots and lots of sustainable solutions being deployed and refined. ‘Cause there’s no shame in borrowing a beautiful idea and making it work in a new locale.