Designing the High Line: Defining the High Line through Design Competitions
Since opening in 2009, the High Line has become an integral part of New York’s landscape, visited by nearly 8 million people annually. Friends of the High Line (FHL) was co-founded in 1999 by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, two local residents with no prior experience in design and planning. They dedicated their early grassroots efforts to advocate for the High Line’s preservation and reuse as a public space. The ideas competition and exhibition put the High Line on the map, and quickly garnered international recognition and attention. In 2016, FHL established the High Line Network, a group of nearly 20 infrastructure reuse projects across North America whose members gather several times a year to share best practices and challenges, as well as envision what these projects can achieve together. FHL recognised that leveraging the design community was one of the simplest ways of bringing attention to the project.