Delancey Underground, ‘Low Line’ Project, New York

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A Lower East Side trolley tunnel could be transformed into the city’s first underground park. The high-tech, subterranean park called the ‘Delancey Underground’ is intended to replace a two-acre abandoned trolley terminal beneath the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Entrepreneurs Dan Barasch, R. Boykin Curry IV and James Ramsey are working to build this community green space the size of Gramercy Park below ground. The project, which will be the size of Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, is the brainchild of NASA satellite engineer-turned-architect James Ramsey, who has developed a technology that can “harvest” sunlight and “channel” it elsewhere via fiber optic cables.

“Technology enables us to create an appealing green space in an underserved neighborhood,” says Ramsey. The key, he says, is the “remote skylight,” a system that channels sunlight along fiber-optic cables, filtering out harmful ultraviolet and infrared light but keeping the wavelengths used in photosynthesis. “We’re channeling sunlight the way they did in ancient Egyptian tombs, but in a supermodern way.” Ramsey envisions a stand of dozens of lamppostlike solar collectors on the Delancey Street median, feeding a system of fixtures down below.

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