The first section of The Underline, a long-awaited 10-mile linear park in Miami, is opening on November 16. The walkway is designed by the same firm that oversaw New York City’s now-famous High Line and is regenerating the spaces below Miami’s Metrorail system to a destination for urban hikers and art lovers.
The first phase to open is the Brickell Backyard, a half-mile long segment that runs from the Miami River to SW 13th St. This section of the Underline will have a sound stage, a basketball court, outdoor gym, a butterfly garden, square gaming tables for checkers and chess, and art installations. A 50-foot dining table has also been set up, which can seat 50 people, though space will be limited during the coronavirus pandemic to adhere to distancing rules. The space has been planted with native vegetation.
Brickell Backyard, the northernmost section of The Underline, is open to walkers and cyclists and has space for yoga classes, movie screenings and concerts. This area represents about 5% of The Underline’s total distance, but will span 120 acres across 10 miles when it’s completed, which is expected to take at least five years. The Underline will run between the Miami River and Dadeland South Station, providing much-needed green space for city dwellers.
Cities around the world have been looking to breathe life into neglected areas, and similar projects have popped up in Chicago, where the 606 elevated path runs along an old train track, and in Seoul, with its Skygarden that has taken over a 1970s highway that was scheduled for demolition. London recently called for designers to help develop the Camden Highline, with a £10,000 prize up for grabs.