World's First Underground Park In New York Will Be Powered By Solar Energy As Kickstarter Project Steams Ahead


Two New Yorkers are planning to build the world's first underground park using nothing by solar power.

James Ramsey, an architectural designer and former NASA satellite engineer, and Dan Barasch, a social entrepreneur have launched a Kickstarter project in the hopes of raising $200,000 to fund the transformation of a derelict trolley station in the Lower East side of New York City into an area teaming with plants and trees.

The Lowline, presumably inspired by the city's High Line which has also repurposed industrial sites into sustainable green expanses, uses a simple concept.

In order to capture the sunlight, the developers will employ reflective solar collection dishes attached to a fibre optic cable which channels the sunlight to another dome that reflects and distributes the light underground.

The next stage of the project is to check the quality and spectrum of light being distributed and filtered by the 40-foot canopy.

Most of the equipment is being shipped from South Korea to New York City and given that testing will take place during autumn and winter, the team will also get the opportunity to explore how the system will work during periods of limited sun.

It has been three years since the team launched their first exhibit showing the world how they planned to take the sun underground.

Since then, they've conducted several 'shadow studies' monitoring how much natural sunlight the park will get as the city plans to build multi-storey towers just above the site and whether the light captured will allow a diverse array of plants to flourish.

The deadline for the project to raise its target goal is July 8 and if all goes to plan, the Lowline will open in 2018.

If it proves to be successful, the underground park could spearhead the transformation of cities that are starved of green spaces into sustainable urban developments.

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