Beautiful Green Spaces Built on Strange Ground


Earlier this week, we saw these great photos of a steel mill converted into a park over at Colossal, and felt a rush of warm feeling. After all, it seems that all anyone can talk about these days is how the world is spiraling downward, how the environment is crumbling, and basically how the seas will soon rise up to claim us. But there is still hope, it seems, as cities and organizations are managing to turn eyesores like industrial ruins, trash heaps, and abandoned military camps into beautiful, green parks for the public to enjoy. At any rate, we think it’s a step in the right direction. Click through to see a few great green spaces — both existing and in the works — that are or will be built on the most un-green of spots, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite natural hideaways in the comments!

An abandoned steel mill in Luxembourg has been transformed into a gorgeous public park while preserving many of the structural elements of the original architecture. See more here.

The High Line, founded in 1999 by community residents, is a beautiful elevated park built on and around a historic freight rail line running above the West Village in Manhattan. Photos by Iwan Baan.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently announced that the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Northern New Jersey (which once treated Woody Guthrie) would be preserved and turned into an open park, a process that will cost around $27 million. We can only hope they’ll find a way to incorporate the half-million square-foot hospital’s notorious underground system of tunnels and rails.

Though definitely not a sure thing, we can’t help but be excited by the prospect of the so-called Low Line, a proposed park that would be created out of an abandoned trolley terminal the size of Gramercy square park that rests below NYC’s Lower East Side. “Technology enables us to create an appealing green space in an underserved neighborhood,” says James Ramsey, one of the entrepreneurs on the project. “We’re channeling sunlight the way they did in ancient Egyptian tombs, but in a supermodern way.” Photos by Danny Fuchs.

Berlin’s Schöneberger Südgelände Nature-Park was once a railroad switchyard, and now serves as a park and arts venue. The park has preserved several original train tracks, switches, signals and water cranes since the switchyard’s closure in 1952, and beautifully integrates them into the current green space. Photos via.

Kansas City is planning to purchase the Kansas City International Raceway in the Little Blue Valley so that it may be converted into a park. Though supposedly the community is working with the racetrack owner to find an even better and bigger place to hold their drag races, not everyone is too pleased about the developments.

Thanks to the efforts of Carrefour mayor Yvon Jerome, Camp Lamentin, an old military camp in Haiti, will soon become a large “attraction park.” The park, which is set to be named “Parc Urbain Phare de Lamentin 54,” will feature an amphitheater, 4 playgrounds and 5 cafeterias.

Only fifteen years ago, Boston’s Millenium Park was a dump known as the Gardner Street Landfill. Now, it boasts 100 acres of sports fields, playgrounds, trails and an amphitheater.

The Gas Works Park in Seattle, Washington is a public park build on the former site of the Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, incorporating remnants of the former plant in its design. Fun fact: this is where Kat and Patrick play paintball in 10 Things I Hate About You. We’re sold.