Azure Magazine outlines a new concept for turning Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a High Line-style park. According to Azure, the expressway has been on the chopping block for the past twenty years. Parts of the expressway have already been pulled down, and, in early 2009, a $10 million environmental assessment consultation process was initiated to consider further demolition. Waterfront Toronto, which sponsored the WaveDeck, and Ht0 projects, sees the demolition of the expressway as a key part of their plan for the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.
However, Les Klein of Quadrangle Architects sees a green oasis on top of the expressway — a new “Green Ribbon” park, with a variety of bike and pedestrian paths. Klein argues a new park on top of the expressway would add needed green space, and help decrease the urban heat island effect. The park would be run on renewable energy. “The whole project would be self-powered by wind turbines and photovoltaic systems lining the whole seven kilometers.” Furthermore, Klein argues that demolition isn’t sustainable. In comments to Azure, Klein said “the most green thing you can do is not sending something to a landfill,” and argues that the energy required to dispose of all the rubble would be “staggering.”
The economics may also make sense. Azure writes: “the total cost to build Klein’s Green Ribbon would be upwards of $600 million. However, he adds, the next phase of demolishing the Gardiner would costs $300 million, and the total estimated cost of flattening the expressway would be around $1.5 billion.”
Image credit: Azure Magazine