Previously I discusses Voca Han’s post where she touches the topic of urban cultural regeneration. On an example of Baltimore I proved that cultural regeneration is a process that follows post-industrial waterfront regeneration in many cases.
Another interesting topic which is also a form of post-industrial regeneration is the reusing dismissed railway network. There are many good examples around the world that prove that disused rail tracks can become a high quality part of urban public realm.
David in his post on reusing railway infrastructure discusses 2 case studies. The first, High Line in New York, is a marvel of landscape architecture and urban design. Soft planting design was developed by Piet Oudolf, probably the most notable planting designer in the world of landscape architecture. His careful selection of native, non-invasive plants is one of the key elements in the environmental success of the regeneration. Moreover, redevelopment of High Line offered urban inhabitants another level of public realm above a busy street.
Another great example of railway reuse is King’s Cross project in London. This mixed-use urban regeneration scheme is one of the best examples of its kind where ones dismissed industrial lands transform into a high quality space for residents and visitors. Once being a busy industrial hub, this area lost its original function with the decline of industries. Existing gas holders will be transformed into residential units and event spaces.
However, the scheme also faced some critisism. Peter Cook, architect, called the new development embarrassing. In his point of view, King’s Cross is an important arrival point to London with hundreds of trains arriving from Europe and new scheme does’t work as a welcome point with a very boring architectural style, he says. Unfortunately, many projects that originally had great ideas behind get stripped to very basics by developers and the delivery we see isn’t what was intended to emerge in the beginning