These Urban Gardens Are Transforming Transit Hubs Into Gorgeous Parks


Can we talk about how building a park in an old railway line is the go-to park aesthetic these days? Because we love it. There’s something extra refreshing about taking some greenspace me-time away from the ground level.

The city planners behind these fabulous gardens all sort of copycatted each other. By repurposing abandoned and underused transit land, they created some of the best urban spaces in bustling cities worldwide. Here are five existing spots, three in-progress parks and two potential projects to follow.

Parkland Walk – London, United Kingdom

Complete and open to the public

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Thirty years ago, London debuted a path on an old railroad line through some of the city’s quieter northern neighborhoods. It’s a 2.5-mile trail, and walkers can expect both old-school, ivy-covered brick walls and new street art.

Promenade Plantée – Paris, France

Complete and open to the public

It’s the original elevated transit walkway that started the trend in 1993. Paris’ Promenade Plantée follows a 19th-century viaduct from the Bastille neighborhood to the Bois de Vincennes park on the eastern edge of the city. Also called Le Coulée Verte, it’s one of the most unique parks in the City of Lights.

High Line – New York, New York

Complete and open to the public

Manhattan’s posh westside park was inspired by the Promenade Plantée and inspired a cavalcade of copycats itself. The old freight train line through the Chelsea neighborhood is now a gathering space for pop-up art shows and food carts, and it’s a great place to tour the city.

Seoul Station 7017 – Seoul, South Korea

Complete and open to the public

Seoul’s 7017 was constructed on top of an old highway. The clean-cut, minimalist path is an attempt to lighten the traffic jams in Seoul and get people out walking. It’s right next to a train station, so there’s no need to get in a car at all.

Beltline – Atlanta, Georgia

Complete and open to the public

Just like the ever-growing city of Atlanta, the Beltline keeps expanding into different parts of the city. In its first iteration, the park existed in sections, but the eventual goal is to connect 22 miles through 45 neighborhoods.

The 606 – Chicago, Illinois

Complete and open to the public

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It’s been a decade-long process to get Chi-Town’s version of the High Line. After much public deliberation, the Bloomingdale train line became The 606. It’s a mixed-use park with bike lanes, event spaces and plain old greenspace to chill out in when you need a break from the Windy City’s bustle.

West Toronto Railpath – Toronto, Canada

In progress, with open sections

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In 2009, the first section of the Railpath opened in Toronto. It runs along railroads and follows railway paths across old bridges. The next section will connect the path to downtown Toronto.

Hofbogen – Rotterdam, Netherlands

In progress

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In what used to be an electric railway line, the Hofbogen restructured an entire neighborhood. The viaduct was partly destroyed in World War II and wasn’t rebuilt until recently. The area around the park is now packed with boutiques, restaurants and the roof of the rail station will become a public park in the upcoming years.

The Rail Park – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

In progress

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Philly broke ground on its own High Line last year, transforming an old freight train route into a fresh space. When it’s complete, there will be three big sections: the Viaduct, the Cut and the Tunnel. Each will restore and reuse a lot of the existing steel industrial parts, but also foster native plant growth.

QueensWay – New York, New York


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There’s an entire section of the Long Island Railway that’s abandoned and overgrown in Queens. And neighborhood advocacy groups want to bring the High Line design to the NYC outer boroughs. The proposed plan for the QueensWay would bring green space to park-deprived neighborhoods and help restore natural plant life in the concrete jungle.

Green Corridor – Singapore, Singapore


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The old Malayan Railway in Singapore is already a walking spot for many city dwellers, but park planners would like to see it become the next urban transit garden. Although the progress has slightly stalled on the Green Corridor for now, there are still 5K run events along the tracks, and you can always take a hike through the abandoned space.