Elevated Innovation: Urban Entrepreneurship and New York City’s High Line

How did two novice entrepreneurs meet the myriad of challenges presented by the creation of New York City’s High Line?
Jeffrey Harris  | Winter 2012
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Successful entrepreneurship cuts across for-profit and social ventures when it entails public-private partnerships. Developing a new public space in New York City, with its numerous challenges, regulatory maze, budgetary constraints, and political minefields, is not for the feint-hearted. Two novices, Robert Hammond and Joshua David, took on the task and over a decade transformed a section of Manhattan by creating one of the world’s most interesting new urban landmarks, the High Line. With visitor counts far above any early estimates, the founders must develop new approaches to accommodate the crowds attracted to their park, while continuing to build additional space. This case asks students to consider the execution skills and tools Hammond and David employed to turn the dilapidated rail line into a commercial success—and how they might approach their new challenge of being “too successful”?

Case ID: 120314

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