The Camden Highline project has reached its crowdfunding goal to begin a feasibility assessment on the proposed public parkway linking Camden Town and Kings Cross by way of the old North London Railway line.
The 2800ft line runs alongside the current railway but remains disused, as the North London Railway ceased operations in 1922. The project hopes to renew this line as a pedestrian and cyclist route between Camden Town and Kings Cross, easing traffic between the stations as well as providing all the general benefits of urban greenery.
The proposed Camden Highline survey has been community crowdfunded through the website Spacehive and has the support of both the Camden Council and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who called it ‘a great example of a local community taking an idea and garnering support in order to make it a reality.’
Funds raised so far will be used to assess key elements of the project before anything goes further, including assessing the condition of the existing line and infrastructure, the potential engineering resources required to carry out the project and the expected time to complete construction.
The project is modelled after a similar renewal project on Manhattan’s West Side, the New York High Line, which successfully transformed the line into a thriving public transport and park area.
Much of the New York High Line’s planting design has embraced the unusual nature of the park with perennials, shrubs, grasses and trees chosen to reflect the self-seeded landscape that grew out of 25 years of disuse.
How exactly the Camden Highline would take shape has not yet been formalised, but is expected to cost less than the recently scrapped but similarly ambitious Garden Bridge project. Whereas the Garden Bridge was a whole new structure, the Highline would be transforming existing space and may qualify for lottery funding due to its historical standing.