With the success of New York’s new High Line park, it is not surprising that other towns and cities are looking towards their abandoned areas as potential park sites. Even the smallest of spaces are now being considered as potential community amenities.
The QueensWay Project in Queens, New York intends to reuse a segment of the abandoned Rockaway Rail Line and develop the space into 3.5 miles of recreational trails through the city. The Project expands on others’ examples by providing more recreational opportunities, such as a skate area.
Here in Denver, we are lucky to be in a city that embraces public parks, which provides us many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors within an urban setting. However, many cities like Queens are struggling to find the space for urban parks and all of the benefits they provide to communities. Projects like The QueensWay are a creative solution to this challenge.
“This will be a wonderful park for Queens… It will provide a safe way for people to get to Forest Park without having to cross dangerous traffic, and the visitors of the QueensWay will help local businesses. It will also provide outdoor recreation for thousands of people who need that access” says Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land, which has overseen the the project (gizmag.com).
Today, space is often a luxury. Cities without this luxury can follow Queens’ lead and use existing spaces to create unique and profitable amenities.