Europe gets tons of really long fleets – and here we are
If you live in a city, you are happy with the green space you have. A piece of lawn strewn with rubbish, a piece of brush spattered with poo – all right, we’ll survive. But just forget to make do: a new park in the Italian city of Turin should make us all clamor for bigger and better spaces.
Sandwiched between two halves of a two-lane road, the pre-hill park stretches 700 meters from the Po River to a square on the nearby hill. You probably never wanted to walk along this disused tram track before, but since it was renovated during Italy’s first lockdown, it has been swarming with people every day. The park is clean, it’s green, and it has a route all set up for you – what’s not to like?
The future park during a flight over Madrid. Photography: Conecta Vallecas
Precollinear is not the only project of its kind: plans are underway to establish new green spaces on neglected hubs and transport routes in several European cities. Neighbour Milan create a ‘hanging forest’ on the site of the old city airport. A brand new park of 130 hectares will soon occupy a mega-strangled flyby in Madrid. And Londonalso plan a one kilometer green alley along a series of railway viaducts between Camden and King’s Cross: his own High Line à la New York.
Over the past year, Precollinear has acted as more than just an attractive hiking site; it has also become a thriving community events space, with a program that includes yoga classes, children’s activities, concerts and DJ sets. It’s a safe place to socialize, outdoors, in beautiful, quirky surroundings – and hopefully that will last long after Covid.
Turin precollinear park. Photography: Federico Masini
Luca Ballarini, CEO of the non-profit Torino Stratosferica, which created and now takes care of the space, believes so-called “linear parks” will soon be a feature of cities around the world. “There is always a broken railway line,” he says. “There is always a street that can be turned into something else.
At the risk of sounding a bit like Leslie Knope, there is potential for parks everywhere. And we can think of a lot grander than just that same old ribbon.