Bashing New York’s High Line as “Disney On The Hudson” : TreeHugger


The “tourist scum” crowding the High Line. From treehugger.com.

Lloyd Alter’s post on Treehugger isn’t the only one to respond to Jeremiah Moss’ strongly-worded op-ed in Tuesday’s New York Times, but so far it’s the best I’ve seen in capturing my feelings about what’s going on there. Moss basically complains of how the High Line has encouraged gentrification, driving up local prices and driving out old, dirtier businesses from West Chelsea. While this is unfortunate, I think Alter makes a good point in the conclusion of his article: “…the real lessons of it are that people are attracted to beautiful things, people like to walk if they are given a safe place to do it, and that investment follows infrastructure.” Call me insensitive, but I don’t feel that fear of gentrification is a reason not to build nice things.

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About Dave Munson
This blog is about architecture, cities, and myself.

One Response to Bashing New York’s High Line as “Disney On The Hudson” : TreeHugger

  1. I think the High Line is awesome. Not only as a model of an active recreational reuse of an abandoned industrial structure but also of what investing in creative green spaces can do to a neighborhood. The increase in investment and property values that Moss apparently thinks are a bad thing are just an indication of how much investors, visitors and residents appreciate the innovative space. Before the High Line was transformed into a space for community art, local food vendors, loungers, walkers, and (yes tourists!) it was a hulking, polluted metal structure bearing down on the neighborhood. What is wrong with taking something that is dragging down a community and turning it into something to uplift the community? Philadelphia is facing this problem with a similar abandoned railroad viaduct and countless dilapidated industrial buildings that create visual and psychological barriers within our neighborhoods. I say, we need more High Lines!

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