The HighLink

by Brian Vargo (MDes ’15)

The HighLink is a winning proposal in an ideas competition launched by the Mayor’s office of San Francisco for the removal of Interstate 280. The project proposes to repurpose (rather than remove) the existing interstate’s structure to create a new pedestrian promenade in the spirit of the Highline in New York. The new HighLink will supplement the robust substrate of the Interstate’s existing overpass with a simple irrigation system that enables a vegetated parkway of community gardens, recreation areas, and imaginative landscapes. With this new pedestrian-centered experience, the HighLink creates a distinct urban amenity to anchor the ongoing development of the neighborhood. By being both a connective element and a destination in itself, it adds development value to its surroundings. Ultimately, the project renews San Francisco’s civic vision as a city committed to a creative built environment.