In the past few years since I first heard about VIADUCTgreene, it has gone from being a nascent organization with hopes of developing Philadelphia’s own version of The High Line to a pulsating, vibrant not for profit that is going to change the landscape of Philadelphia~ transforming it from being a terrific city into an extraordinary one.
Paul vanMeter is the visionary and force behind VIADUCTgreene. His love of gardening and history and his knowledge of garden making combined with what he experienced when walking the unused Philadelphia railroad tracks proved to be the perfect ingredients for him to give birth to what will be a garden like no other in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
A few words about Paul – He is a landscape gardener whose work ranges from intimate private to expansive public places. His passionate interests and lifelong studies of urbanism, landscape design, ethics and management, railroad history and culture have collided in his co-founding of VIADUCTgreene. – Fran Sorin
Can you describe what VIADUCTgreene is?
VIADUCTgreene creates a garden of intersecting culture and wildness along the soaring and submersive landscape infrastructures that are the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad 9th Street and City Branches.
VIADUCTgreene (VG) advocates for the creation of a linear gardenpark in Philadelphia along the former 9th Street Branch and City Branch of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad.
What was your inspiration for it?
So many wonderful postindustrial places turned garden! From the Crowinshield Garden built over the ruins of the DuPont Powder works at Elutherian Mills in Delaware to the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, Mass to Natur Park Südgelände in Berlin, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, also in Germany, the Promenade Plantée/Viaduc des Arts in Paris. I guess it nearly goes without saying the High Line in New York. Friends of the High Line, organizationally especially, has been tremendously inspiring.