There’s not much to suggest that this peaceful park is perched ten meters above street level. This is the world’s first ‘high line’ park, running along a brick arched railway viaduct through the streets of eastern Paris.
Coulée Vert René-Dumont, otherwise known as the Promenade Plantée, is a 5km green corridor along the route of the former Bastille to Vincennes railway, partly elevated, part at street level and part in a tree-lined cutting. This elevated section of the corridor is an elongated garden with arbours, pergolas and benches as well as a series of interconnecting pools. The single central walkway splits into two when it reaches the pools and the paths running either side are linked at several crossing points, giving the impression of a single canal crossed by bridges.
Trains stopped running along the track in 1969 and the line gradually went wild until the development of the Promenade Plantée started in 1988. On this section there’s now no sign of the pioneer plants that first colonised the track. In place of the birch, buddleia and mulleins you might expect to find on an abandoned trackside, the park has cherry and linden trees, roses trained on trellises and clipped borders of evergreen shrubs. Here familiar garden features frame views from an unfamiliar perspective.