The Goodsssstufff

The High Line strikes again, but this time in Sydney #urbanrenewal

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is leading this project to transform a 500m stretch of disused railway line into an inner city open space area. This linear and elevated (sitting 4m above street level) city park is proposed in the city’s inner western suburbs, linking Railway Square through Ultimo to Darling Harbour with a pedestrian and cycle network. 

The unique design, created by ASPECT Studios and Choi Ropiha Fighera, offers a contemporary space which also interprets the significance of the original heritage corridor. The project has been developed in two stages; the Goods Line North – beginning round about now and due for completion November this year – and the Goods Line South, with feasibility studies being undertaken for further extensions beyond these stages.

Aspect Studios - The Goodsline

The similarities between this area and the New York project are striking, and why not? We’ve read almost only good things about this adaptive transformation of a 2.3km redundant railway line and more green space can only be a good thing, right? So good that other cities across the world have also emulated the High Line’s success, such as a proposal in London to turn a disused mail tunnel beneath Oxford Street into a mushroom garden. And in New York, not content with one success story, the ‘Lowline’, on New York’s Lower East Side, proposes to use solar lighting to grow a subterranean park.

The bad press the High Line has attracted relates really only to it being too popular! 3.7 million+ visitors in a single year led some local residents condemning it as a “tourist-clogged catwalk.”

Some reviewers think the Goods Line actually improves on the High Line design. The High Line begins in an awkward street and leads nowhere of note; the Goods Line is a genuinely useful thoroughfare. The High Line has spent much of this snowy winter closed to the public and also shuts in the evenings; the Goods Line will be a night time destination in its own right, year round.

The Goods Line will revitalise this corridor for pedestrians, offering public squares, raised lawns, and tiered seating surrounded by trees and manicured gardens. The design team behind the Goods Line promises performance stages, pop-up bars, and ‘study pods’. This all sounds promising. The scene is being set for an activated space full of vitality and human interaction …… but as we know this humanness is difficult to create in advance, only time will tell, but the right ingredients seem to be there.

Read more and watch a clip here.


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