Marcus Hiles Discusses Benefits Of Repurposing In Urban Areas

As Americans’ idea of what cities are for and how they ought to be used shifts, so too does their urban design. From Atlanta’s BeltLine to Philadelphia’s Rail Park and Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, unused railways and forgotten infrastructure are being given a new life in the form of converted trails, parks and promenades. The movement, referred to as landscape urbanism, stems from the model of design of Frederick Law Olmsted, Central Park’s famed architect. Marcus Hiles notes that “capping,” the process of building green spaces over freeways, has become a hallmark innovation spurring from this trend, converting expansive expressways into vital links between communities. In 2012, Klyde Warren Park capped Dallas’ Woodall Rodgers Freeway, connecting the Uptown and Downtown neighborhoods and allowing previously impossible pedestrian access across the majority of the city.

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