A massive highway called Chapultepec Avenue slices down the middle of Mexico City. It is a pretty hefty 10-lane thoroughfare, is difficult to cross or bike, and is overall not a very nice place to be.

Not for long, however. The highway is now being reinvented as a park, and will be mostly closed to cars to make way for trees, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and even bus lines. Overhead, there will be a platform offering the people below shade. The project is borrowing from New York City's High Line park playbook.

"Today, the street is a turmoil of sidewalks in terrible shape, filled with commercial and food stalls, broken floors, garage ramps, etc.," said Fernando Romero, founder of architectural firm FR-EE, which is heading up the project, in an interview with Fast Co.Exist.

Local food stalls around the area throw their waste on the ground, making it dirty and causing it to smell bad, he explained, and not only that, but because of how pedestrian-unfriendly the area is, pedestrians often use the bike path, which causes problems for the cyclists.

The new park will bring together the two neighborhoods on either side of the now-highway, which are currently separated by 10 lanes of traffic, encouraging interaction between people on both sides of the park. It also will reprioritize the streets—where cars currently get around 90 percent of the road space, after the project, cars will have 30 percent of the space, while pedestrians and bicyclists will have the other 70 percent.

At street level, most of the road will be closed to cars. The park will also be green in the ecological sense. It is designed to run on solar power, with the decks themselves being made from plastic that is recycled. The plants in the park will be watered with recycled rainwater. The design is also being implemented to cut down on the urban heat island effect.

Last but not least is the fact that the new park could serve as an inspiration for other parts of Mexico and beyond.

Via: Fast Co.Exist

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