For cars by day and people by night
Abinaya Rajavelu, Sarah Reilly, Estelle Grech & Elise O'Ryan

A Cabramatta case study: Shape-shifting empty carparks in urban centres, into night-time community dancefloors and playspaces.

“Our idea is to transform dark empty carparks into community activated public spaces at night. Using technology we can share our empty carparks as places for recreation when the sun goes down.”

More people of all ages and cultures are living in our urban centres seeking places for recreation and connection after dark. With limited opportunities to deliver new public space, our existing city spaces need to work harder to meet needs. Our idea will create a better life for Sydney-siders by unlocking the latent capacity of carparks to provide places for people to play at night, right in the heart of our local centres.

In centres like Cabramatta, when shoppers head home in the afternoon, the carparks lay empty till morning. Through the use of smart technology, these carparks can shape-shift into true public recreation spaces. LED line markings can turn on to create any desired sports court or even a dance floor. Small built-in interventions like an amenities block and speakers can provide places to change, store equipment, and plug-in sound. Creative lighting of surrounding buildings and the car park can also improve perceptions of safety creating a playful atmosphere.

Our idea is transformational because it is an example of truly multi-purpose and shared public space that accommodates the needs of local businesses and shoppers during the day while fulfilling the desire of our increasingly culturally diverse apartment living communities to have more public spaces to gather, play, dance and celebrate even when the sun goes down.

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