THE HIGHLINE The High Line's planting design was inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the outof-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. With a focus on the local ecology, native species were chosen. The perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, as well as textural and color variation. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed were incorporated into the park's landscape. Piet Oudolf’s planting design included over a hundred different plant and tree species, essentially restoring the native ecology of the area. The design translates the biodiversity that took root after the structure fell into ruin. Creating a string of site-specific urban microclimates along the stretch of railway that include sunny, shady, wet, dry, windy, and sheltered spaces. Additionally, according to research carried out by the Manhattan Project, the pioneer species, Betula populifolia planted along the stretch of the highline hark back to the native ecology of the site pre 1609, before Europeans ever set foot in the area. This diverse landscape has created new habitat in the city. Birdlife sighted include; juncos, song sparrows, catbirds, house sparrows, robins, barn swallows and a few warblers as well as Peregrine Falcons. The maintainance team utilize natural-use compost tea; a concoction of compost, natural fish fertilizer, and food for bacteria and fungi, such as molasses or flour. This promotes microbial growth. In an interview for the New York Times, James Corner, the landscape
“You accept death. You don’t take the plants out, because they still look good. And brown is also a color.”
architect and landsape urbanism theorist said that one reason he asked Mr. Oudolf to do the project’s planting design is that his planting design “is thought through not only in terms of summer, but also in terms of winter — all 12 months are (productive).”
benefits to the human environment, it is in some respects bio-mimetic. The High Line it is essentially a long green roof that uses plants to slow and capture rainwater, therefore reducing stormwater runoff and aleviating pressure on sewage systems.
Although the Highline does not claim to be bio-mimetic, When looked at from an eco-mimetic standpoint, their approach in recreating the native habitat that initally took root and extending and expanding the species list, providing a perpetual ecosystem, whilst providing many additional
Biomimetic Design for Landscape Architecture