The Penn Compact in Action

The high life

The High Line hasn't carried a freight train through New York City in decades, but due to the efforts of a Penn graduate, the railway has been given new life.

For a decade, Joshua David C'84, and friends labored to transform the elevated High Line—once used to deliver goods to New York warehouses—into a unique urban park. Now, after 10 years, the first section in the three-phase project is open; Phase Two is set to be completed by the fall of 2010. An environmental design student at Penn before becoming a freelance writer, David co-founded Friends of the High Line in 1999 and helped gather widespread support for the site's renovation and maintenance.

The walkway was designed by James Corner, chair of PennDesign's landscape architecture program, whose career-long focus on urban landscapes has been a perfect fit for the project. Corner's vision for the High Line, says David, has created a setting "less like a park and more like a scruffy wilderness."

More of the Penn Compact in Action

The Penn Compact

The Penn Compact embodies Penn's vision for making our University both a global leader in teaching, research, and professional practice, as well as a dynamic agent of social, economic, and civic progress.

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