High-impact design was a recurring theme for parks that opened in 2018, and so was the hope that parks can unite and invigorate cities. Tulsa’s Gathering Place, Toronto’s Bentway, and Detroit’s Riverfront Conservancy are all being transformed into green spaces exhibiting the latest in equitable and resilient design.
Philadelphia’s Rail Park will bring together diverse communities and serve as a focal point for the city for decades to come.
Center City District is working with the City of Philadelphia and the Friends of the Rail Park to convert the defunct Reading Railroad Line into a linear park that will provide three miles of green space and link ten diverse neighborhoods. Construction of Phase 1 commenced in November 2016 and involves converting a portion of the rail line that was purchased by SEPTA in the 1980s as part of the once proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro Line. Construction on Phase 1 will be complete in January 2018. The project is already fostering new investment and major renovation in the Callowhill neighborhood, and will prompt the redevelopment of several major vacant parcels around the area. Later phases will stretch north on elevated tracks into the East Poplar neighborhood and potentially west below ground toward the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
|Status||Open / Ongoing|
|Opening||Phase 1: January 2018|
|Design Team||Studio Bryan Hanes, Urban Engineers|
Base landscape services provided by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Parks and Recreation; cleaning and public safety services provided by Center City District, which will extend its boundaries to include Phase 1 of the Rail Park; Friends of the Rail Park will provide some specialized maintenance services and will be responsible for programming and communications
Latest News / Rail Park
Urban Engineers, the group behind the Rail Park, announced that they’ve won the 2018 award for Outstanding Engineering Achievement from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers’ Philly Chapter.
The first phase of the project—a quarter-mile stretch running from Broad Street to Callowhill Street—officially opened to the public on June 14.When the remaining phases are completed, the transformed Reading Viaduct will be a three-mile elevated park that stretches up past the Parkway, to Girard and 31st streets.