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New York is getting a crowdfunded, sunlit underground park

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 8, 2015
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New York City has its share of famous parks, but they don't pepper the landscape like they do in other big cities. The non-profit group Lowline may have a technical solution to that lack of greenery, however. It just crowdfunded preliminary work on an underground Manhattan park whose solar technology will fill an abandoned trolley station with natural, plant-sustaining light. The key is a collector that concentrates light above the sidewalk, funnels it through irrigation-like tubes and distributes it through domes. Provided the test run (Lowline Lab) works out, New Yorkers will have a 1-acre safe haven from urban chaos just underneath the Lower East Side -- it might even stay green all year round.

There's no firm date for when the park will be available. Its fate hinges on whether or not the city decides that the Lowline Lab's trial (from September 2015 to February 2016) is a success. Thankfully, you won't have to twiddle your thumbs waiting for the full-fledged venue to open. Lowline plans to open the Lab to the public on weekends, and it'll be free of charge. Neither the test nor the completed project will be as grand as strolling through Central Park, but they'll probably be worth a visit for the novelty alone.

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