Public Engagement

General Public

Deconstructing the High Line: A Public Symposium

Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College 65 West 11th Street Room B500, New York, NY 10003

The High Line, an innovative promenade created on a disused elevated railway in Manhattan, is widely recognized as among the most iconic urban landmarks of the 21st century. It has stimulated public interest in landscape design while simultaneously re-integrating an industrial relic into the everyday life of New York City. Since its opening in 2009, this unique greenway has exceeded expectations in terms of attracting visitors, investment, and property development to Manhattan's West Side, and is widely celebrated as a monument to community-led activism, adaptive re-use of urban infrastructure, and innovative ecological design. It has also inspired a worldwide proliferation of similar proposals seeking to capitalize on the repurposing of disused urban infrastructure for postindustrial revitalization.

Providing a much-needed critical perspective, this interdisciplinary symposium will interrogate the High Line’s relation to public space, creative practice, urban renewal, ecology, and public policy. The event brings together scholars from urban studies, geography, cultural analysis, art, and architecture.  

First Panel: The Contexts of an Elevated Urbanism

Joseph Heathcott, Moderator
Associate Professor of Urban Studies at The New School and urbanist

Christoph Lindner, cultural theorist at University of Amsterdam and editor of the book series "Cities and Cultures" for the university's press

Şevin Yildiz, architect, planner, and Assistant Professor at Barnard College and the New Jersey Institute of Technology

Erika Svendsen, research social scientist for the U.S. Forest Service


Second Panel: The High Line from Neighborhood to Global Stage

Brian Rosa, geographer and faculty in the Department of Urban Studies at Queens College and co-editor with Christoph Lindner of the forthcoming book Deconstructing the High Line

Julian Brash, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Montclair State University, anthropologist, and author of Bloomberg's New York  

Scott Larson, geographer and faculty in the Department of Urban Studies at Queens College, urban geographer, and author of Building Like Moses with Jacobs in Mind

Danya Sherman, Masters of City Planning candidate at MIT and former Director of Public Programs, Education & Community Engagement at Friends of the High Line


Those attending are invited to join a reception and short presentation immediately following the symposium to mark the publication of Christoph Lindner’s new book on New York City, Imagining New York City: Literature, Urbanism and the Visual Arts (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Deconstructing the High Line is co-sponsored by the Urban Studies program at the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students at The New School, the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School, the Department of Urban Studies at Queens College-CUNY, and the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies.

Event Type

Conferences and Symposia


General Public


Cities and Urbanism, Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change, Politics, Policy and Government


Schools of Public Engagement, Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students, Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment


Architecture, Humanities, New York City, Urban Design, Development and Policy, Natural Science


Free and open to the public; no RSVP required; seating is first come, first served

Admin Notes

Approved PT

Recent Activity

People Interested

Getting Here

Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.