Saturday, March 03, 2012

Things That Make You Go Wow!

(Computer rendering by raad studio of future Lowline park in the unused trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street in New York's Lower East Side. Click on image to enlarge.)

OK, time to take a few deep breaths and look at humans making the impossible possible, rather than the other way around.

One of the downsides to dense urban living is the lack of "green space" such as parks, even trees and grass. Some visionaries have found a way around that problem in a very creative way and then invented and developed a way to make it happen.

Delancey Underground visionaries Dan Barasch and James Ramsey are working with the MTA and local communities in Manhattan’s Lower East Side to transform the former Williamsburg trolley terminal (out of commission since 1948) into the world’s first underground park.

To build the park, the team has invented a new technology called a “remote skylight.”

The remote skylight uses “a system of optics to gather sunlight, concentrate it, and reflect it below ground, where it is dispersed by a solar distributor dish embedded in the ceiling. The light irrigated underground will carry the necessary wavelengths to support photosynthesis — meaning we can grow plants, trees, and grasses underground. The cables block harmful UV rays that cause sunburn, so you can leave the SPF-45 at home.”

As the computer-generated graphic heading this post shows, the results will be lovely. The new park will provide a nice respite for locals and will use an existing structure long out of use to do so. It's thrilling to see innovation and creative thinking at work here. The post also contains information on how people can help bring this plan to fruition. Check it out.

Note: Thanks to Brooklyn Girl for the tip on this story and for the link to a really interesting web site.



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