Watch How Designers Re-engineered an Island to Make a Park in New York City

By Michael Hession on at

Parks aren’t always built just so we can enjoy the trees. On Governor’s Island in New York City, a truly unique public space will bring nature back to a former military base–and it’s engineered to withstand the catastrophic storms that climate change will bring. It’s called The Hills, and in this documentary, we talk to one of its principle designers.

I was given an extensive tour of The Hills by Jamie Maslyn Larsen. She works at a company called West 8, which specialises in urban design and landscape architecture. At first glance, The Hills is exactly what it sounds like. The park is made up of sculpted, textured mounds overlooking New York harbour, perfect for climbing and frolicking visitors. But the park’s playful terrain is also functional, protecting the island against rising sea levels.

It’s fascinating to hear how Larsen and her colleagues made the park happen, engineering every natural space down to the last grain of sand. Take a tour with us in this documentary, and watch the park taking shape. The Hills will open to the public in 2016.

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