Cast your mind back a couple of years, and you may remember us getting excited about a brand new garden in the sky that was announced to be arriving in Camden.
That was 2021, and in January 2023 we have some breakthrough news about the project: it’s got planning permission to go ahead. Well, the first section of it, anyway, which runs from Royal College Street to Camley Way. The second two are still awaiting final confirmation.
This is big, and means that 1.2km of disused rail track will be repurposed into a green haven of shrubbery up in the sky (about eight metres) running between Camden and King’s Cross. It’ll be known at the Camden Highline, which hopes to be an attraction in the vein of the high line in New York City.
If successfully carried out, it is thought that the project will bring new green space to over 20,000 residents along with a multitude of health benefits to the local area, increasing the biodiversity of Camden to boot.
Camden Highline was born from a community initiative, and a crowdfunding campaign. Public conversations have been held with architects and designers of of the New York High Line James Corner Field Operations, and many more groups.
As such, the identity of Camden is key, with each section aiming to reflect a different characteristic of the area. Among the varied wildlife, passers through can explore interactive designs, including a children’s play zone, volunteer-run allotments and an outdoor classroom.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “The Camden Highline has captured local imaginations. It urges us to broaden the horizons of what’s possible within our cities and is exactly the sort of innovative, environmentally sustainable, and community-driven project which will continue to benefit and inspire generations to come.
“This vision will also bring huge enterprise opportunities to local small business, helping to build a better, greener, and more prosperous London for everyone. I look forward to following the Camden Highline on its journey and to walking in London’s own park in the sky.”
Now the question on all of your lips, I’m sure, is: when will Camden Highline open? Not to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s unlikely to be with us anytime soon. Unless you call 2025 soon – and that’s just a provisional date, dependent on securing the financial backing for the estimated £14 million project.