Matt Coggan and Ben Riach

A city-wide strategy for creating a live network of publicly accessible rooftop spaces

What’s the big idea?
Reimagining our city requires us to look beyond
the conventions of public space, to include the vast
opportunities for publicly accessible private space. The
long-term strategy unlocks hundreds of hectares of new
publicly accessible open space in the City of Sydney
Why Rooftops for Open Space?

  • Large and underutilised urban places
  • Great solar access (highly sought out for open
  • Amazing views! 3D city experience
  • Bare rooftops are a major cause of heat island effect
  • Trees and ecology thrive on urban rooftops
  • Public access contributes to social equity
  • Ongoing maintenance/management shared with
    private sector

Why rooftops ‘Live’?

  • The Rooftops Live app showcases in real-time all
    rooftops and activities taking place – people can filter
    by entertainment type (movies, music, ball sports,
    food growing, etc.). User-generated content relives
    administration burden.
  • The app is particularly valuable in rooftop context
    due to limited on-street visibility and to minimise
    unnecessary traffic in elevators (e.g. people going up
    to check if a place is open, or fully booked)

How would it work?

  • Attractive incentives/grants/concessions to building
    owners to develop their viable roof spaces for public
  • Development controls to guide design and establish
    minimum requirements for ongoing management,
    accessibility, and maintenance.
  • Development controls include greening requirements
    to address heat island effect, urban tree canopy,
    biodiversity, and sustainable water management
  • Rooftop needs assessments will become the norm –
    empowering the private sector to make a meaningful
    contribution to city-wide social and open space needs
    whilst creating a viable asset for their property

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