Community Park(ing)
Tiffany Liew

What if we built carparks as adaptable structures that evolve as our community does?

Carparks in central locations are an opportunity to rebuild resilient long-term structures for public and community benefit. 101 Goulburn Street has great potential in Sydney’s CBD, a Council-owned carpark located over a railway line.

This carpark should be rebuilt with prefabricated massive-timber elements, topped with a lush, rooftop park. This community rooftop will add an elevated public space in the city. The proposed elevated park should contain a productive and cultural landscape garden, in light of the successful precedent that Yerrabingin has set for sharing Indigenous tacit knowledge. Loops of external circulation will ensure that the rooftop can be accessed from Castlereagh, Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets.

Due to the limiting nature of low ceiling heights in carparks, the carpark will be designed to enable the removal of every second floor, easily achieving 4.5-metre ceiling heights. As private vehicle usage subsides, the prefabricated structure can be infilled with day-lit community spaces including a multi-purpose hall, indoor sports, recycling workshops, technology hub, Indigenous youth centre, maker-space, co-working studios, and vehicle-sharing hubs.

This idea challenges the notion of a carpark from being a static, single-purpose-built facility to a transformative framework that can accommodate several community uses in a strategic location. Although we currently rely on private car ownership, technology and co-sharing platforms will enable alternative modes of mobility in the future. Through resilient structures, we can provide for future community spaces in place of cars, exchanging private ownership for the increased collective agency.

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