New York City, United States of America
New York City’s High Line has become a symbol of the possibilities of adaptive reuse of existing run-down infrastructure; inspiring cities across the world to redevelop “obsolete” infrastructure and turn them into public spaces. It’s hard to imagine today, that the High Line, a high-design 1.45-mile public “linear park” and one of New York’s top tourist attractions, was once a disused elevated railway on Manhattan’s West Side abandoned in 1980.
To preserve the existing structure, which was under threat of demolition, a community based non-profit group, Friends of the High Line, came together in 2002 to work in partnership with the City of New York. Following a public competition in 2004, James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro were selected as the winning designers for the project. The architects created a blend of agri-texture, enabling visitor and biodiversity immersion into the texture and wild nature of their landscape. Hidden niches, subtle lounging areas and art installations were also designed to encourage visitors to take more than a New York minute to experience and enjoy their surroundings.
In its first year, the High Line welcomed 1.3 million visitors, a figure which rose to 7.6 million in 2015. While, the investment for the 1st and 2nd section of the project amounted to $152.3 million, a quarter of which was financed through donations and the rest by the City, State & Federal governments; New York City noted that the High Line has generated over $2 billion in private investment surrounding the park. In addition to the 8,000 construction jobs required for these projects, the redevelopment has led to the creation of approximately 12,000 new jobs in the area. The City believes that together, the condos, eateries and museums which blossomed around the park will generate around $1 billion in tax revenues to the City between 2017 and 2037.
To ensure the sustainable and successful management of the park, Friends of the High Line have embraced data collection and analysis, gaining a clear understanding of who visits the part and when, what they do in the park and what they like. In 2015, 31% of visitors were from New York and 28% were international visitors; the average visit lasted between 30 and 40 minutes and the busiest time is between May and August between 2:00-6:00pm. What’s more, visitation data enables Friends of the High Line to forecast future investments in infrastructure and operations management.
For the seventh year in a row, Singapore’s Changi Airport has been rated the top airport in the world by Skytrax. Changi is the 19th largest airport globally, with more than 65.6 million passengers passing through it in 2018. It serves more than 120 airlines, flying to nearly 380 cities in about 100 countries & territories. Changi Airport is an incredible infrastructure project, which is ultimately transforming the experience of travellers, to become an “attraction” in its own right.
With art installations, free cinemas, a butterfly gardens and a rooftop pool & jacuzzi to name a few of its attractions, Changi has redefined travellers’ expectations of what an airport can be. Most recently, to augment Changi Airport’s position as a leading air hub globally and boost its appeal as a stopover destination for travellers, Changi opened the Jewel in April 2019; which reportedly cost $1.7 billion to build. The Jewel is a mixed-use development with gardens, attractions, more than 280 stores, dining, a hotel and facilities to support airport operations. The centrepiece of the Jewel is the 40-meter Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, which is surrounded by lush greenery, mazes and slides.
Changi Airport has also prioritised digitalisation. It has made great strides in creating a seamless travel experience through automated border control kiosks that use CT scanners, in turn eliminating the need to remove electronics from carry-on luggage. It has also implemented technology, such as automated cleaning robots, to enhance cleanliness.
The number of passengers to Changi airport increased by 77% between 2009 and 2018, from 37.2 million to 65.8 million passengers; while international arrivals to Singapore have grown by 95% in the same period from 7.5 million in 2009 to 14.6 million in 2018. This growth is expected to continue in light of the increasing demand for air travel in the Asia-Pacific region over the coming decades. In fact, thanks to its expansions, which have been funded by the government, Changi Airport and passenger fees, Changi Airport’s total handling capacity will increase to 85 million passengers per annum; enabling it to manage the forecasted growth.
SwitzerlandMobility is a unique public-private partnership created in 2008 to enable Switzerland to become the global leader in sustainable mobility for tourism, leisure and everyday life. It focuses on the development, coordination, and preservation of the most beautiful hiking, cycling, mountain-biking, skating and canoeing routes in the country for both domestic and international travellers.
Centring on human-powered mobility, this national network for non-motorised traffic makes it easier for visitors to enjoy an active experience of Switzerland. It encompasses over 34,000km of routes, 250,000 signpost locations and 507 information points. More specifically, there are 23 national routes, 154 regional routes and 1,190 local routes for travellers to discover.
As of 2015, more than 1.8 million people have made use of the SwitzerlandMobility routes. The SwitzerlandMobility website and app were developed to help travellers plan their travels including the maps of the routes, the accommodation they could book and services they might need along the way. In 2018, over 13.3 million visitors have used the website and app.
Switzerland Mobility is funded 50-50 by the public and private sector, including the federal and cantonal governments, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Switzerland Tourism as well as national associations and partners. The added value of SwitzerlandMobility, between transportation, lodging, food & beverages, was estimated at CHF 730 million in annual sales in 2013.