Construction work due to start later this year

Proposals to bring a version of New York’s High Line park to Camden are set to be given the go ahead this week.

Camden council’s planning officer has recommended the first phase of the Camden Highline scheme for approval when it is presented before councillors for a decision on Thursday evening.

If backed by the planning committee, the scheme would transform a 260m section of viaduct between Camden Gardens and the crossroad between Royal College Street and Camden Road into a public park.

1_Camden Highline visualisation aerial view © Hayes Davidson_WEB

Source: Hayes Davidson

An aerial view of the Camden Highline proposals

This would stretch a further 1km east to York Way under the full three-phase masterplan, which was submitted for planning last May.

Landscape designers James Corner Field Operations, which worked on the original 2.3km-long New York Highline with Diller Scofidio & Renfro, won a design competition in 2021.

The practice beat a high-profile shortlist for the much sought after job including Adjaye Associates, Zaha Hadid Architects, AHMM, Hawkins Brown, BIG, LDA Design, AL_A, Weston Williamson and its former New York collaborators Diller Scofidio & Renfro.

Avondale Construction is being lined up as the main contractor on the scheme, with an official announcement to be made by the end of May.

The project team also includes architect vPPR, engineer AKT, garden designer Piet Oudolf, sustainability consultant Atelier Ten, planning consultant Lichfields, and artist and curator Hew Locke.

The plans will include the installation of a stairway and lift at either end of the first phase stretch, along with the conversion of some of the viaduct’s railway arches into commercial space.

2_Camden Highline visualisation ground level view © Hayes Davidson_WEB

Source: Hayes Davidson

How the Camden Highline proposals will look at ground level

The park itself would consist of a decked walkway between 2.1m and 8.5m wide, flanked by trees and planting, with a small events space with tiered seating at the eastern end near Royal College Street.

Camden’s planning officer said the plans were an “exciting opportunity to provide a unique, elevated public garden in the heart of the borough which would improve local access to public space”.