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BY HANIYA RAE

The reinvention of an irrigation canal east of Denver shows off the region’s diversity.

FROM THE NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Stretching 71 miles from south of Denver into Aurora, Colorado, the High Line Canal is a constructed feat of the late 19th century. Originally hand-dug to supply irrigation to local farmers, the canal is now in the midst of transformation from a historical relic to a burgeoning greenway.

Plans for the High Line Canal’s transformation, with input from Sasaki, Agency Landscape + Planning, and Livable Cities Studio, call for clearly designating five zones of the canal based on their ecology while also linking the zones with a unified design and wayfinding system. The plan also stresses the need for accessibility and basic amenities so that all communities along the canal can enjoy it. A newly formed nonprofit, the High Line Canal Conservancy, will oversee the implementation of the plan and promote the benefits for all who live near the canal.

“The canal is natural, connected, and continuous, and it’s not one thing from beginning to end,” says Gina Ford, FASLA, the principal landscape architect at Agency Landscape + Planning. “It’s not a system that was made for people. The High Line Canal Conservancy needs to do a lot of work to adapt it for people. And that’s a lot of what I think really came in the vision and framework plans.” (more…)

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