A parking development to keep an eye on

Work's begun in Melbourne on an ambitious carpark development which city planners here in New Zealand might want to watch closely.

Initial work on the $60 million conversion of a Prahran carpark in Stonnington into a public plaza with underground parking began on January 15.  Parking's of course an issue we grapple with in New Zealand, mostly because the number of light vehicles on our roads is growing by over 80,000 a year.

 Images courtesy of Lyons Architecture and Urban Design.

Images courtesy of Lyons Architecture and Urban Design.

 

Designed by Lyons Architecture and Aspect Studios, the 9,000-square-metre public park, dubbed ‘Cato Square’, will provide residents with urgently needed space for recreation, markets, festivals, an outdoor cinema and live performance spaces. 

It will be divided into nine separate areas, featuring a central square with a fountain, gardens, lawns and a small ‘forest’.

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The park is also designed to utilise both solar energy generation and stormwater capture and management.

Although the carpark will not be completed until 2019, it will provide over 500 parking spaces across two underground levels, increasing current capacity by 20% for neighbouring businesses. 

According to a 2011 report by SGS Economics and Planning, Stonnington has the second-lowest area of open public space per capita of all Victorian Council regions. With the city’s population expected to increase by 30,000 by 2036, this project is designed to decrease the burden on other public spaces.

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Steve Stefanopoulos, Stonnington’s mayor, envisions the park will be “recognized as a world-class public space that can be enjoyed by everyone” and says this will be achieved by “transforming the existing car park into an active, vibrant, safe and exciting public open space.”

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When an Auckland CBD carpark sold at auction for $265,000 in December last year, it highlighted the extent to which there is a squeeze on parking in New Zealand’s largest city. 

For more information on the development look here