6. The Harsimus Stem Embankment in New Jersey
Rising up amid public housing in Jersey City and near the New Jersey Turnpike, the Harsimus Stem Embankment is a stone structure that once linked the seven tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Hudson River Waterfront. Jersey City has not yet approved plans to turn it into one of a series of parks in a “county with a severe park deficit.” In its current state, the Embankment provides a much-needed stretch of nature, oxygenating “air compromised by local and Holland-Tunnel traffic” and also serving as a stopping point for monarch butterflies migrating between Canada and Mexico.
Photo by Jim.henderson/Wikimedia Commons
7. Hiriya Landfill / Ayalon Park in Israel
Located south of Tel Aviv, Hiriya is the largest landfill in the Middle East and looks like a large, flat-topped mountain when seen from above. Since 2001, it has been the site of a naturalization process that, it is planned, will transform it into Ayalon Park — which would be one of the world’s largest urban parks — by 2020.
Video from YouTube
8. Millennium Park in Boston
This former landfill was shut down in 1994 and opened as a 100 acre park with six miles of trails in 2000. It also offers excellent views of the city of Boston, which has indeed been named one of the greenest cities in the U.S.. More recently, attempts began to restore wetlands habitats at the park’s edges.
Video from YouTube
9. Sai Tso Wan in Hong Kong
Sai Tso Wan is the first of the city’s parks to be built over its waste; it has playgrounds, athletic areas and also is home to wind turbines and a rainwater collection system. Waste is a huge issue in densely populated Hong Kong — the government expects its existing landfills to be filled by 2015 — and transforming wastelands into useful sites for its many residents is essential.
Photo by minghong/Flickr.
10. Tempelhof Park in Berlin
After being abandoned in 2008, Tempelhof Airport has become a park, with its runways and other massive spaces now used for biking and kiting. It also contains the Stadtteilgarten Schillerkiez community gardens, providing residents of Berlin with a place to grow their own vegetables (in movable raised beds with fresh earth, due to possible contamination from the soil).
Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr.
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Photo of the High Line by joevare/Flickr
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