Paris' Elevated Park Predates NYC's High Line by Nearly 20 Years (and It's Prettier, Too)
New York City's High Line Park is remarkable, but not quite as original as many think: Parisians have been enjoying strolls along an elevated park in the heart of the city for nearly 20 years. The Promenade Plantée, or Coulée Verte, runs 4.5km (2.8 mi) through Paris' 12th arrondissement.
The elevated Viaduct des Arts, which supported the Vincennes Railway from 1859 to 1969, was bought by the City as part of a general renovation of the area in 1986. Landscape architect Jacques Vergely and architect Philippe Mathieux were commissioned to design the park, which opened in 1993. At the same time, the arcades under the viaduct were converted into spaces for art galleries and artisan workshops.
What makes the Promenade Plantée especially impressive is that it's striking from the ground as well, thanks to the rose pink bricks of the arcade. Much like the High Line, it is open to pedestrians but not cyclists. Paris' park runs from the Place de la Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes. About half the length is on the viaduct, the rest is at ground level or on footbridges.