A Treasure Trove of Space: Rethinking Melbourne’s Car Parks for Future Use


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event will be available online only. Simply tune in via the Watch Now tab on Thu 26 Nov 2020 at 1pm.

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Multi-level recreation facilities including a rooftop basketball court on Little Bourke Street, image by Bates Smart

In the City of Melbourne, car parking accounts for 460 hectares of land – the equivalent of almost one and a half times the area of Central Park in New York.

Today in 2020, Melburnians are still striving for our city to once again be tailored to humans. This shift reflects global trends away from private car use and toward a future that is more sustainable and community focused. But it also leaves us facing some big questions about what to do with all the space currently devoted to cars and their use.

Framed differently, current off-street car parks in the City of Melbourne represent a great opportunity to introduce other needed facilities—from community centres, to recreational spaces, to new kinds of workplaces—in the city’s urban core.

As the world heads toward its next phase of development post COVID, we encourage the debate around how our cities will evolve, both locally and around the globe.

Join architecture firm Bates Smart and a panel of experts including Julian Anderson (Bates Smart), Rob Adams (City of Melbourne), as well as international guests Alessandra Cianchetta (AWP-Architecture) from New York and Sarah Gaventa (Illuminated River Foundation) from London, as we spark conversations about how we can create greener, happier and more people-focused cities for the future.