Lowline underground park will get sunlight beamed down to it

Interesting Engineering

When space is at a premium in cities that have been heavily developed but more public spaces are needed, it becomes quite a challenge. One of the best solutions is to take an old building and re-model it. Even better, take an old building that is under ground.

Using spaces that are underground comes with  problems, one being the lack of natural sunlight. The developers who have planned the Lowline Park in New York have found a way around this though. They plan on re-modelling an old trolley terminal and they are going to illuminate it with sunlight thanks to fibre optics.


[Image Source: Lowline]

There was talk about doing this back in 2011, however, then the name was the Delancey Underground Project. Today, over US$155,000 has been raised for the project so that the developers can look into testing solar technology. Along with this the money was used so that a full scale model could be made that would provide proof of concept. The name was also changed to the Lowline.


[Image Source: Lowline]

The site is in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at what used to be the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal.


[Image Source: Lowline]

There are very few green areas in New York so there is no doubt that the underground park would be very welcome in NY. Visitors would be able to reach it easily thanks to the fact that there is the Essex Street subway close by.


[Image Source: Lowline]

The developers of the project want to be able to offer a space for people to go where they can relax, along with being able to show just how technology may be used in the transformation of cities. Amazingly, they have plans to fill the park with trees and plants. These of course need sunlight and the underground space needs illuminating for the visitors. They came up with a great idea for this by way of collecting sunlight using reflective parabolas above the ground.

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[Image Source: Lowline]

The parabolas will be situated in areas that get plenty of sunlight and as the sun moves so will the parabolas. This will mean that they will always face the sun and be able to make the most of it. This light is then directed underneath the ground to the park through fibre optic cables, then to reflective dishes which will be located on the ceiling, before finally being distributed to the space. Along with bringing light they, will also bring the wavelengths that are needed for photosynthesis and the plants will be able to grow just as they would outside.


[Image Source: Lowline]

The work that is needed in order to bring the project to life has started and if all goes to plan construction of the Lowline underground park will start in 2017, with the park being open to the public in 2018.



[Image Source: Lowline]

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