Are we facing the park of the future?

Render of the future park. Source: kickstarter campaigned to fund it.

The concept of a park is an outdoor area with some green space which is big enough to favor people engagement is a wide range of activities. This concept bears true with better or worst results all over the globe, until now when the City of New York granted, after eight years, a conditional support of constructing James Ramsey’s dream: “Create an underground park with natural sunlight and growing vegetation.”

The area chosen for this ambitious project was the abandoned Williamsburg Bridge Railway Terminal located in Lower East Side which operated from October 1904 to December 1948.

Ramsey and his team to prove his unique vision was feasible created the Lowline lab, an open laboratory to recreate the same conditions of the future park just two blocks away from it inside an abandoned market.

The natural light is brought underground thanks a glass shield parabolic collector designed by Ramsey and fabricated by Sunportal — a Korea-based technology company . These collectors track the sun every minute of the day capturing the sunlight and conducting it through an helio tube until the dome underground where thanks to high-efficiency mirrors and lenses will be distributed to the green space, transmitting enough light to support photosynthesis, enabling around 100 plants and trees to grow.

Diagram of how the solar collection dish works. Source : The Lowline Lab.
Solar Collector Dishes on the roof. Photo by Philip Lange. Source : The Lowline Lab webpage.

The Lowline Lab not also serve as a prototype and showcase. Moreover, it serves as a community engagement providing a space to learn about science and innovation for everyone but especially for the youth with several educational programs.

This unique idea of creating a liveable underground park would have a great acceptance around the world with the explosion of the redesign of the cities which are becoming more dense and open spaces are not always feasible.


•Thomas Gebremedhin , “Will New York’s Next Major Park Be Underground?”, The Wall Street Journal.

•Sophia Hollander, “Prospects Brighten for Proposed Lowline Park on Lower East Side”, The Wall Street Journal.

The Lowline lab