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Reimagining Broadway as a Pedestrian-Only Public Park

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There's no shortage of urban planning projects that aim to utilize existing space in New York City: the High Line is built atop disused train tracks, for example, while the Lowline's creators want to build a park within an old trolley station. Now, an idea for something called The Green Line proposes to build a 2.5-mile long park along one of the city's busiest thoroughfares: Broadway.

The idea was conceived by Perkins Eastman, a design and planning firm that has worked on various New York City projects like Battery Park City and the redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn. According to Dezeen, which first reported on the plan, the proposed Green Line would run from Columbus Circle to Union Square, and would eliminate cars and trucks (aside from emergency vehicles) from Broadway, opening up the central artery and connecting major public spaces like Times Square, Herald Square, and Madison Square Park. "As a linear at-grade park, the Green Line would provide much needed active and passive recreational space in the heart of the city," Perkins Eastman prinicipal Jonathan Cohn told Dezeen.

But the Green Line isn't meant solely as a public park; according to Cohn, it would also function as a new way of improving the city's drainage system. By removing the asphalt that covers Broadway; using materials like plants and bioswales; and letting storm and groundwater absorb back into the earth, the park would, in theory, improve water conditions in the East and Hudson Rivers. ""It is an excellent swath to begin groundwater recharge," Cohn explained.

Of course, there are logistical concerns to take into account (i.e. how the heck do you turn one of the city's busiest roads into a park), as well as the whole process of getting approval for such a proposal from all the pertinent city, state, and local officials. (We've reached out to Perkins Eastman for comment on those things, and will update when we hear back.) Still, it's an interesting proposal—one that has the potential to reshape the way people live, work, and play in Manhattan.

What do you think of this proposal—is it a grand experiment, or a hare-brained scheme? Let us know in the comments.
Perkins Eastman proposes turning New York's Broadway into one long park [Dezeen]