10 Ideas for Repurposing City Car Parks4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
The suburban is changing, slowly but surely. Acres of car parking, both overground and underground, is being transformed into multi-purpose areas. From zen-gardens to coffee shops, the modern city’s car parks are changing, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. This change is attributable to the world’s increased focus on building smart cities. The way forward for any city to be termed as ‘smart’ is for it to optimize the area available and make the best use of digital innovations to improve the residents’ quality of life. Let’s find out 10 ideas for repurposing city car parks.
One big hindrance for city planners is the sheer space required by parking lots. While numerous innovations are in the pipeline, some already existing infrastructure like city car parks is possible barriers. This slowly is changing. Though, these spaces being converted into areas that serve multiple purposes.
Here are 10 of the most innovative ways for repurposing city car parks.
The growing lack of greenery in cities has given rise to urban farming. This is true, especially for overground car parks with access to sunlight. An unused car park can easily be converted into a mini-farm. It does good for the environment and also generates local employment opportunities for the residents.
The growing focus on sustainability has also led governments to turn city parks into recycling centers. These centers focus solely on waste recycling or on water recycling. With minimal investment, a car park can be converted partially or fully into a recycling center, something that brings a multitude of benefits to the city itself.
Remodeling a car park into an area with public utilities is the most common way to optimize space. This can be done on existing car parks as well as the ones that are no longer in use. The building of restrooms, public showers, and drinking water stations in the car parks is a simple yet deeply useful solution.
Hybrid Service Areas
By incorporating play areas for children, parks for residents, places like bars, gyms, and car parks can be made hybrid and multi-purpose. This is especially applicable to multi-level car parks where the underground area can be used for parking vehicles, and the overground area can be used for other services.
Space for Homeless
Homelessness is a problem that continues to plague cities across the world. Urban areas deliberately erect anti-homeless architecture designed to make sleeping uncomfortable. A very humane idea for converting an old car park into a utility space would be to convert it into shelters and resting space for the homeless.
Storage costs associated with businesses are huge, not only in terms of the money but also in terms of the space involved. This is where car parks can come into use. By allocating a proportion of the car park to storage facilities (cold storage facilities for agrarian cities or logistical storage facilities for urban cities), unused spaces can be utilized in the best possible way.
Accessibility to public healthcare, especially in underdeveloped countries, is definitely below par. Converting unused car parks into state healthcare facilities and pharmacies is a great way to utilize the space.
One of the simplest ways to repurpose an old car park is to create space for housing. Urban areas today have a greater number of nuclear households. This means that the demand for single/dual bedroom apartments is now high. Successfully converting old car parks into affordable housing for different sections of society is a practical and useful way to repurpose parking space.
The emergence of e-mobility in recent times has necessitated the need for greater electric car charging stations and other e-mobility services. The number of electric cars in the future is only going to go up, and with that, the need for more charging stations will also grow. Both underground and overground car parks can be converted to charging stations for electric vehicles in the future.
Building water reservoirs, an extension of water recycling units, is another viable option for city planners to consider. Apart from healthcare, access to safe drinking water is also a challenge for numerous underdeveloped countries today. Converting car parks into water reservoirs, which supply safe drinking water to the public, is something governments should consider.