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How Hudson Yards Will Grow 200 Trees Over a Rail Yard

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Years into the future, when Hudson Yards finally reaches its end stages, a substantial portion of its permanent residents won't be human—they'll be plants. The Public Square at Hudson Yards, an elevated six-acre open space, will contain roughly 28,000 plants, including a forest of 200 trees, along with insects and small avian creatures. What complicates things is that the park, like much of Hudson Yards, is being built on top of a working rail yard, and the heat from the trains—up to 150 degrees—would render any above soil inhospitable for trees and such.

To prevent this from happening, the team at Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects has designed a hi-tech platform that they claim is unlike anything else in the world. Related Companies, which is co-developing Hudson Yards alongside Oxford Properties Group, released details on the technology after The New York Times published a story explaining how it works. The platform will use several different methods to insulate the plants from the rail yard below, including circulating liquid coolants to keep the soil at the right temperature, supplying fresh air at 45 miles per hour to the train cars via a ventilation system of 15 fans, and promoting wide and shallow growth of roots so that the soil layer need not be too deep. In addition to being an advanced cooling apparatus, the platform will also contribute to sustainability, as it has been designed to collect rainwater to reuse as irrigation for the plants.

—Wesley Yiin
· A Garden Will Grow With Fans, Concrete, Coolant and 28,000 Plants [New York Times}
· All coverage of Hudson Yards [Curbed]

Hudson Yards

, Manhattan, NY 10001