The Rail Park in Philadelphia
Repurposing underutilized spaces into public parks is an increasingly popular way to improve quality of life in urban neighborhoods. These green spaces provide both social and environmental benefits to nearby communities. Urban parks foster new interpersonal connections, encourage outdoor recreation, and enable healthy lifestyle choices in their users. They also slow down stormwater and reduce erosion, absorb air pollutants, and mitigate the urban heat effect in nearby areas.
The Reading Viaduct is an old railway line that carried trains into center city Philadelphia for almost 200 years until its closing in 1984. This unused line is soon to be converted into urban green space. State funding for Phase I of the project was just secured this September. Friends of The Rail Park and their partners have worked hard to create the plans for repurposing the Reading Viaduct. Thanks to the newly secured funding, construction of Phase I is set to begin shortly. We at Refugia are looking forward to enjoying the new park ourselves soon. We recommend you take a look at the Friends of The Rail Park website here, where you can see photos of the plans, a map of the project, and an informational video. The last walking tour of the season is this Sunday, November 20th, at 10AM, so if you are interested, tag along and see the project in its very beginnings!