London Wants a High Line Too But Chooses a Tunnel as the Winner of Its Design Competition

Pop Down

London has (New York's) High Line envy, so they held a competition to "find new ‘green’ designs for the development of London’s spaces".

The Winner:

...a tunnel! Fletcher Priest's Pop Down creates an urban mushroom garden in a tunnel that hasn't been used in a decade. It would be lit by fibre-optics inside the mail rails that were used to transport mail below busy Oxford Street. The light would come from sculptural glass mushrooms at street level.

The Runner-up:

The LidoLine

A channel in the Regent’s Canal makes it possible to swim the ‘Lido Line’ from Little Venice to Limehouse.

Highly Commended:

Barge Walk

Connects people with water via the creation of a linear park, farm and wetland on floating barges at the edge of Canary Wharf.

Bus Roots

Rooves of bus shelters become raised gardens with sparrow colonies, insect hotels and miniature wildflower meadows.

high line london© HTA

Unlocking corridors around the existing transport network – green linear parks and cycling and walking networks built over, under and beside railway lines.

It's all very exciting but still just an idea. The winner will receive a £2,500 prize but no serious funding. The concept does have the backing of the Mayor of London who has been pretty innovative (cable cars, expanded bicycle rental schemes) so maybe there is hope.

Other Shortlisted Entries:

High, Low, Fast and Fluid Lines

A commuter cycleway on raised railway viaducts, ‘air rail’ gardens by railway sidings, a new green Blackfriars Bridge and flower shows on the Thames.

Green Arteries

A scheme to transform London’s flyovers into productive and beautiful green arteries, to reduce heat effect and traffic noise and encourage biodiversity.

Street Orchard

Creates mini orchards around bus shelters, featuring beehives within the trees and sloping sedum roofs to collect fruit and rainwater.

London Parks Library

Establishes small book exchanges within parks and green spaces, and traces the invisible network and movement of books and people.


Biocentric ‘mats’ and ‘sleeves’ are layered onto buses, trams and trains to create mobile gardens.

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