The High Line Names Alan van Capelle its New Leader as it Attempts to Combat Gentrification

Alan van Capelle will become the High Line's director early next year, with plans to focus on community-building.

People walking on the High Line on a sunny day.
The High Line park. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)

The High Line, the elevated park on the west side of Manhattan, will soon have a new Executive Director alongside a renewed focus on accountability and community voices.

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Alan Van Capelle will be taking over the park’s leadership position from High Line co-founder and current interim director Joshua David.

“We see a bright future for the High Line as not only a green space, but as an institution that brings social, cultural and economic benefits to its communities,” wrote Mario Palumbo and Susan Viniar, chairs of Friends of the High Line, which operates the park, in a statement.

Van Capelle, who will become executive director in January, is currently the president and CEO of community center network Educational Alliance.

His appointment suggests a focus on combatting urban displacement and gentrification caused by the High Line’s popularity.

Van Capelle plans to meet with community boards and local residents, in addition to prioritizing equity when making decisions in his new role. “It’s really taking account for who is at the table when these decisions are being made and who’s not at the table,” he told Crains.

The High Line Names Alan van Capelle its New Leader as it Attempts to Combat Gentrification