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Thin parks/thick edges: Towards a linear park typology for (post)infrastructural sites

Abstract

Cities in the post-industrial era are laced with interstitial edge-spaces formed largely by infrastructural and hydrological processes. Such linear spaces form rifts in the urban fabric which designing typically attempts to mitigate, either by stitching it up with buildings or filling it with linear parks. While the linear - or thin - park has been historically marginalized in design practice, the decline of industrial-era infrastructure is transforming cities and, accordingly, design opportunities. In this new context - based on an analysis of 20 linear parks from Europe and North America - the paper tenders a suite of characteristics particular to the typology of elongated landscapes. The paper aims to establish a clearer scope of operations for the design of thin parks, both in terms of particular design qualities and larger contextual influences.

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