If you're from a city like Chicago, Philadelphia, Jersey City or Saint Louis - or possibly San Francisco or Wilmington, California, Toronto or Vancouver, Canada, or Sheffield or Manchester, England - or maybe even Harlem or my home borough of Queens, or a host of other cities - you've got an old railroad or car viaduct in your town, and at least one person is saying, "what if we turned it into a linear park, like New York's High Line, or Paris's Promenade Plantée?"
If you've got anyone like that in your town, you should print them out a copy of Witold Rybczinski's excellent discussion of the economics of the High Line, and why it probably won't turn your run-down industrial neighborhood into West Chelsea unless you've got (a) dense commercial and residential development nearby, (b) a subway two blocks away, (c) lots of well-connected gay men and artists living and working within a short walk, and (d) LOTS of money, more than your town can really afford to spend.
Oh, and if your town didn't fight a major freeway revolt just a couple blocks of your wannabe High Line, it's probably too car-oriented to get anything like the High Line.
Finally, show them the great slideshow embedded in this Greater Greater Washington post about "Freedom Park" in Arlington, Virginia's Rosslyn neighborhood. Rosslyn does have art and a metro station and is fairly walkable, but it also has three large highways nearby, and the density is nowhere near as high as in Chelsea. The result is a pleasant place to have lunch, and I'm sure it's a tremendous improvement over the elevated highway that used to be there, but it's no High Line.
If you want a true pedestrian revitalization you need to challenge the dominance of cars in the city. Everything else is just an empty escape fantasy. You can't become Kim Kardashian by buying her "signature scent," you can't become Mary-Kate Olsen by wearing her "celebrity clothing line," and you can't become New York or Paris by putting up an elevated walkway to nowhere.