To some, the postindustrial linear park, exemplified by the
High Line in New York City, is one of the prime examples of the resurgence of the city that has taken place in the last few decades. But for Unfrozen guest Kevin Loughran, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Temple University, the postindustrial
park is also a vector of gentrification and privatization of cities: a kind of “death show of zombie plants and railroad corpses.” Parks for Profit: Selling Nature in the City (Columbia University Press,
2022), his first book, offers a critique of the High Line, Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston, and the Bloomingdale Trail/606 in Chicago.


Intro/Outro: “Post-Industrial Necrofolk,” by Vredenstal



The High Line

Buffalo Bayou Park: Prime donor: Rich Kinder, Kinder Morgan / The Kinder Foundation

Discovery Green

Bloomingdale Trail/The 606

Philadelphia Rail Park

Kelly Drive - Philadelphia

The Central Park Conservancy

The Trust for Public Land

Millennium Park, a network of corporate-branded spaces   

Atlanta Belt Line
The QueensWay, NYC


The “picturesque” as a historical element of 19th-century


Landscape as a colonial tool.


Parks conceived as safe spaces for white women
and children in rapidly industrializing and ethnographically changing.


Counterpoint: Small parks pioneered by Jane
Addams and Hull House.


Three-point manifesto:

  • Ban private park corporations.

  • Decolonize the links among race, capital and the aesthetics of nature > Provincialize the canon.  

  • Let the rails rot, or, “Why is a weed so offensive to a certain sensibility about social class?”