Futurama: The future made visible.
Ideas for making cities more fun.
Spotlight on New York's people-pleasing High Line restoration.
June marked the opening of the first phase of Manhattan's new High Line park. Formerly a long-abandoned rail line serving the meatpacking district of West Chelsea on the city's West Side, the 30-foot-high rail route has been transformed into a elevated park offering unqiue views of the inner city, a boardwalk, gardens, green space and other amenities while honouring the critical role the rail line built in 1934 played in the city's industrial development. It wouldn't have happened without volunteers, specifically the creative spark begun and maintained by Friends of the High Line, who since 2001 raised more than $164 million (U.S.) in public and private funds for this unusual improvement in Manhattan's quality of life.
Before the High Line project began
The 75-year-old elevated rail line line cut through a meatpacking and dairy district once among the New York's most important industrial areas. But the line had been abandoned - and untouched - since 1980.
After the June completion of Phase One of the High Line rehabilitation.
Phase II calls for children's playgrounds among other additional amenities. As it is, locals and tourists are treated to an unusual view of the skyline, an intimate embrace of the neighbourhood's industrial history, and an emphasis on natural vegetation over formal gardens.
* New York Review of Books: "Up in the Park," Martin Filler's review of the story behind the High Line project, Designing the High Line: Gansevoort Street to 30th Street, edited by Friends of the High Line, with forewards by James Corner and Ricardo Scofidio, chief designers.
Futurama is in tribute to GM's pavilion at the 1939-40 World's Fair, whose theme was "Building the World of Tomorrow." Arguably the last of the great world's fairs, the exhibition marked a time of North American confidence in the future as it emerged from the Depression. The 700-foot Trylon spire and adjoining Perisphere orb, as large as a city block, were embraced by New Yorkers as whimsical mascots. The spirit of optimism managed to eclipse the ominous signs of looming conflict in Europe and the Pacific Rim.
For the purposes of this blog, the inception of the Great Recession in the U.S., the epicentre of the crisis, is taken as the start date for the global slump. The U.S. has been in recession since December 2007.