30 Urban Linear Parks Projects Since 2000

Look no further than Paris' Promenade plantée, which was completed in 1993, to see where the trend of converting obsolete railways into beautiful urban green spaces originated. The real urban renewal linear park boom, however, happened in this century and arguably was inspired by New York's High Line—a project that recently spurred its own "Network." These projects are not only physically transformative for the areas where they are located, they also spur positive change in the economy.

While this list is not comprehensive, we've compiled 30 projects in order of their various stages of completion. 




Eastbank Esplanade/Vera Katz Esplanade | Portland, Ore., 2001

The Vera Katz Esplanade, designed by Mayer/Reed, rebuilt a bicycle bypass to Interstate 5 that had flooded. The esplanade runs along 1.5 miles of the Williamette River connecting neighborhoods and trails and includes a 1,200-foot-long floating walkway. (Image: Cacophony via Wikimedia Commons) | Wiki


Tanghe River Park | Qinhuangdao, China, 2006

The Tanghe River Park project, also known as “The Red Ribbon” was designed by Turenscape and the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture at Peking University in a river corridor that was previously used as a dump. The “ribbon” is an internally-lit red bench coupled with a boardwalk that snakes through the 50-acre park. (Image: Turenscape) | Site | Wiki


Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway | Boston, Mass., 2008

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, whose tagline is “Boston’s ribbon of contemporary parks,” was completed in 2008 with the help of many design firms over the site of the infamous “Big Dig.” The 1.5-mile-long Greenway links six parks, displays public art installations and hosts over 400 free events annually. (Image: Hellogreenway via Wikimedia Commons) | Wiki


The High Line | New York, 2009–2014

The High Line is a 1.5-mile-long elevated greenway that began as a plan to save a railway on the West side of Manhattan. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Piet Oudolf with wayfinding by Pentagram, the High Line saw over seven million visitors in 2016.  | Site | Wiki


Dequindre Cut Greenway | Detroit, 2009–2016

The Dequindre Cut Greenway, formerly a railway sitting below street level, connects the East Riverfront, Eastern Market and Wilkins Street Plaza along a two-mile-long stretch. Designed by Smith Group JJR, the Cut features wide paved pedestrian and bicycle paths along with urban artwork. (Image: Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc.) | Map | Wiki


Klyde Warren Park | Dallas, 2012

Klyde Warren Park was designed by James Burnett and Thomas Phifer and Associates. The Park was built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, occupying 5.2 acres and bridging downtown and uptown communities of Dallas with green spaces, a children’s area, dog park and more. (Image: Kevin1086 via Wikimedia Commons) | Wiki


Superkilen | Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012

The Superkilen park was part of an urban revitalization plan in Copenhagen whose design (led by Superflex, BIG and Topotek1) is characterized as a celebration of the diversity of the people in the city. The park stretches nearly half a mile in length and is comprised of three visually distinct areas. (Image: Forgemind Archimedia via Flickr) | Wiki | Article


Hofbogen | Rotterdam, 2012–2016

A cadre of firms designed this start-and-stop project, which was the renovation of the run-down Hofplein Line viaduct (a national monument) and Bergweg Station, constructing pedestrian, retail, restaurant and community spaces under and around its arches as well as a green space above. (Image: Hofbogen.nl) | Proposal | Wiki


The 606/Bloomingdale Trail | Chicago, 2015

The Bloomingdale Trail was dubbed “The 606” for the local area code in Chicago and was designed by Colins Engineering, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Frances Whitehead. The old elevated rail line was converted into a 2.7-mile-long linear park that connects four neighborhoods and ground-level parks. (Image: Victorgrigas via Flickr) | Wiki


Vauxhall Missing Link | London, 2015

This sustainable green trail was designed by Erect Architecture and J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects to connect the community and its parks while reducing the risk of flooding. The concept was a historical one: “the promenade of curiosities.” The larger goal, however, was to connect Vauxhall to the Thames. (Image: Lambeth Council) | Article


Raised Gardens of Sants | Barcelona, Spain, 2016

The Raised Gardens of Sants in Barcelona was an urban renewal project to revive a railway corridor. The design team included architects Sergi Godia and Ana Molino Architects (Esteyco). They transformed a half-mile-long section of rail into an accessible green roof with gardens and paths. (Image: Esteyco, Adrià Goula Sardà) | Article | Article


Seoullo 7017 Skygarden | Seoul, South Korea, 2017

MVRDV spearheaded the design of this walkway and garden on a former 0.6-mile-long highway overpass, which has been outfitted with new stairs and bridges and bedecked with 24,000 plants representing 228 species. At night, the Skygarden glows with blue lighting that can be changed during festivals. (Image: © Ossip van Duivenbode) | Article | Article




Under Construction:


The Bentway | Toronto (2018–)

The Bentway, designed by PUBLIC WORK and Greenberg Consultants, Inc., will transform the one-mile-long area under the Gardiner Expressway into a public trail and space for recreational events that brings together seven neighborhoods. The Bentway will serve as a gateway to the waterfront and important local attractions. (Image: PUBLIC WORK) | Wiki | Video


Rail Park | Philadelphia (2018–)

Designed by Studio Bryan Hanes and Urban Engineers with graphics and interpretation by Cloud Gehshan Associates, the Rail Park in Philadelphia will knit together 10 neighborhoods through a three-mile-span of green space, hopefully prompting redevelopment of vacant areas. (Image: Community Design Collaborative) | Site | Site


West Toronto Railpath | Toronto (2018–)

Designed by Scott Torrance and Brown + Storey Architects, Phase One of the West Toronto Railpath is a 1.3-mile-long linear park and multi-use trail area along a former rail corridor completed in 2009. The railway that used to divide the community is now a connection point. (Image: Scott Torrance) | Site | Wiki


11th Street Bridge Park | Washington (2019)

The 1,200-foot-long 11th Street Bridge Park will be a revitalization of a defunct highway bridge connecting the Capitol Hill/Navy Yard and Anacostia neighborhoods of Washington. The design was by OMA and OLIN and promises a healthy, vibrant public space to celebrate the rich history of the area and infuse economic growth. (Image: DC Bridge Park) | Wiki | Article


Bayou Greenways 2020 | Houston (2020)

Bayou Greenways 2020 will form a 3,000-acre linear park system that follows Houston’s waterways, with over 80 miles of pedestrian and cycling trails. These bayous touch many of the neighborhoods in Houston, so the impact on the population is significant. (Image: Houston Parks Board) | Article


Hudson River Park | New York (2020–)

Hudson River Park is 550 acres and 4.5 linear miles of reclaimed waterfront in New York city that includes piers, green spaces and facilities for sports and recreation like volleyball, baseball, cycling, dog parks, ice skating, swimming and more. There is also a plethora of cultural programs associated with the park, which is 72% complete. (Image: Wussel007 via Wikimedia) | Site | Wiki


Waterfront Seattle | Seattle (2022)

The partially complete, 26-block-long waterfront area will be in construction until 2022 and was designed by teams from James Corner Field Operations, Miller Hull, LMN and Mithun. The waterfront will include a salmon-friendly seawall, storm water fed gardens and public spaces for walking, cycling and cultural events. (Image:  © James Corner Field Operations) | Article | Article | Video


Underline |  Miami (2025)

The 10-mile-long space below the Miami Metrorail will connect downtown to a series of other pedestrian and bicycle trails in Miami-Dade County. James Corner Field Operations completed the Master Plan and is currently working on construction documents. (Image: James Corner Field Operations) | Site | Wiki


Atlanta BeltLine | Atlanta (2030)

Designed by Perkins+Will and Kimley Horn with wayfinding by MERJE, the Atlanta BeltLine has been under construction since 2008. It is a 33-mile-long loop of multi-use trails, light rail transit and green spaces built mostly on railway corridors. When complete, the BeltLine will connect dozens of Atlanta neighborhoods. (Image: Robert Neff via Flickr) | Site | Article | Article | Wiki





Ayalon Highway Park | Tel Aviv, Israel

Baricentrale Railway Area | Bari, Italy

Cultural Corridor Chapultepec | Mexico City

Delancey Underground/The Low Line | New York

Gold Coast Rapid Transit Corridor | Gold Coast, Australia

Los Angeles River Greenway 2020/LA River Revitalization | Los Angeles

Park 101 | Los Angeles

Rail Corridor Lines of Life | Singapore

Waller Creek | Austin, Texas

QueensWay | Queens, N.Y.


Did we miss something? Leave us a comment!




Philadelphia's existing greenway

I think it's a real shame that you missed altogether Philadelphia's portion of the Schuylkill River Trail, Schuylkill Banks, which is a vibrant multi-purpose trail and greenway that is part of a 750 mile trail network and attracts over 1 million users a year.  The Rail Park, while a worthy future public space that certainly deserves attention, doesn't yet exist and will be an isolated structure within one neighborhood. 

Thank you for your input.

Thank you for commenting Sarah. We will look into Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail. 

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