A note from Friends of the High Line Co-Founder and Executive Director Robert Hammond
Since Joshua David and I co-founded Friends of the High Line (FHL) in 1999, and especially since the first section of the High Line opened to the public in 2009, we’ve been asked the “How did you do it?” question thousands of times. We always hoped that the High Line would inspire others by showing that it’s possible to make the crazy credible, and I’m proud that people across the country and the world have been inspired to look at their own cities and create innovative spaces.
But we also knew that there was a larger renaissance in industrial reuse initiatives — which would have happened with or without the High Line — and that we could learn just as much from other projects as they could learn from us. Over the past seven years, I’ve met with representatives from more than 100 different projects to share best practices and to talk about the movement. I’d like to think that I’ve benefited from those conversations just as much as they have.
To that end, last week FHL convened a group of leaders representing organizations from around the country to share success stories and challenges about their own projects, and to talk about the future of urban reuse. While each project is different, we know there’s a lot we can learn from each other, and FHL is in a unique position to bring these leaders together. I left last week’s discussions energized and hopeful about the future of urban reuse initiatives all over the United States.
Now we’re thinking about what the next steps might be — and not only how we can leverage the High Line’s lessons, but how we can all learn from each other. Stay tuned.