Landscape, post-industrial, urban, neo-liberalism, High-Line, New York
Post-industrial sites are frequently seen as aesthetically sublime, considered as iconic reminders of an ongoing de-industrialization, and interpreted as symbols of the failure of the industrial age. Simultaneously they are also locations to re-imagine, reinvent and recover urban landscapes. These competing discourses construct post-industrial sites as highly contested terrains. This paper analyzes the High Line in New York City, one of the most recent iconic design projects on a post-industrial urban site. It will argue that the agency of physical and material change in urban spaces extends beyond its economic, functional and ecological performances into the aesthetic-representational practices of “seeing” and “being seen”.