A linear park is a park in an urban or suburban setting that is substantially longer than it is wide. Some are rail trails ("rails to trails"), that is disused railroad beds converted to recreational use, while others use of strips of public land next to canals, streams, extended defensive walls, electrical lines, highways and shorelines. They are also often described as greenways. In Australia, a linear park along the coast is known as a foreshoreway.
A famous example of a linear park is the Berlin Mauerpark, which was built on a part of the former Berlin Wall area and its adjacent former death strip. Another example is Planty Park, Kraków, Poland). It encircles the Stare Miasto (Old Town), where the Medieval city walls used to stand until the early 19th century. The park has an area of 52 acres and a length of 4 kilometers (2.5 mi). It consists of a chain of thirty smaller gardens designed in varied styles and adorned with numerous monuments and fountains. The park forms a scenic walkway popular with Cracovians. In summer, sprinkled with ponds and refreshment stalls, it is a cool and shady retreat from the nearby bustling streets.
In some cities, many linear parks run through residential areas, where housing will front streets and back onto small linear parks containing a pathway, trees and grass. Examples are numerous in some Canadian cities such as Saskatoon.
In cities where the terrain is such that rivers and brooks have significant flood plains, the land cannot sensibly be used for urban development and so can be set aside as a civic amenity. Milton Keynes in England makes extensive use of this design feature, with nine different examples that include the flood plains of the Great Ouse and of its tributaries (the Ouzel and some brooks). In Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire, the Lee Valley Park is a 10,000-acre (40 km2) 26 miles (42 km) long linear park, much of it green spaces, running along the flood plain of the River Lea from the River Thames to Ware, through areas such as Stratford, Clapton, Tottenham, Enfield, Walthamstow, Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Hoddesdon in an area generally known as the Lea Valley. Greater London's largest park, Lee Valley Park is more than four times the size of Richmond Park, extending beyond Greater London's borders into the neighbouring counties of Hertfordshire and Essex.
Another example is the BeltLine system currently being planned and built in sections is the in Atlanta, which will completely encircle its central business districts, and include a trail and eventual light rail line on existing tracks instead of another road.
List of Linear Parks
- Brampton Valley Way in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, England
- Hogsmill River Park, London, England
- Lea Valley Park, East London, England
- Mile End Park
- Beltline Linear Park and West Toronto Railpath, Toronto, Ontario
- Grand Concourse (St. John's), Newfoundland: a walkway system with linear parks
- Parc linéaire de la rivière Saint-Charles, Québec City, Québec
- Strathcona Linear Park, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Embarcadero, San Francisco, California, US
- Alewife Linear Park, Massachusetts, US
- Charles River Esplanade, Boston, Massachusetts, US
- East Boston Greenway, Boston, Massachusetts, US
- Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, Massachusetts, US
- High Line Park, New York City, US
- Ocean Parkway, New York City
- Eastern Parkway, New York City
- Mosholu Parkway, The Bronx, New York City
- Pelham Parkway, The Bronx, New York City
- Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, Queens, New York City
- Hudson River Park, New York City
- Midtown Greenway and trails network of Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
- James River Park System, Richmond, Virginia, US
- Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, Northern Virginia, US
- Mauerpark, Berlin, Germany
- Planty Park, Crakow, Poland
- Promenade plantée, Paris, France
- Sagera Linear Park, Barcelona, Spain
- Tagus Linear Park, River Tagus, Portugal
- Turia Gardens (Jardín del Turia), Spain
- "Parks and Recreation Programming Master Plan". Hurst, Tx City Council. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Study Trail profiles". U.S. Department of Transport Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Truman Greenway, Savannah, Georgia, US
- City of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
- Andrew Beattie, From the Piast Church to the Holy Cross Church Landmark Publishing, page 40.
- City of Saskatoon
- Ouse Valley Park - Milton Keynes Parks Trust
- Ouzel Valley Park - Milton Keynes Parks Trust
- Parks Trust Milton Keynes
- "Paris Elevated Rail Park Featured in Movie 'Before Sunset'". Friends of the High Line. August 12, 2004. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2014.
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