6: Making Better Use of Rooftops on Parking Buildings


What if we made better use of rooftops on our parking buildings?

There is an ongoing debate about whether it is possible to dispose of and redevelop some of the publicly-owned parking buildings in the city centre and elsewhere. This is a good discussion to be having.

In the meantime, wouldn’t it be good if we made better use of some of the most valuable space for better, higher value uses? This sentiment could equally apply to making better use of the ground floor space fronting shopping streets.


Franks Campari Bar opens every summer on the rooftop of a parking building in Peckham, London.

London Alotment

 Example of an Urban Allotment Garden.

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    1. No trouble in Melbourne, they have about four of them. The Cookie rooftop is particularly fun, it’s like a picnic among skyscrapers.

      Let’s start with the Downtown carpark, the west facing side overlooking the viaduct and bridge. Sunny, nice views, and never occupied on Friday nights or weekends.

    1. The rooftop beer gardens in Tokyo are awesome. Amazing to watch the sun go down and are the lights of Tokyo take over on a hot, humid summer night from the top of a skyscraper.
      Rob, have you had a couple of Asahis on top of the Keio department store in Shinjuku before…? 😉

      1. My favourite rooftop beer garden in Tokyo is in Kagurazaka:

        Its a small one but the atmosphere is great.

        For a serious rooftop beer garden in the city, you can’t beat the one at Restaurant Luke down in Tsukiji:

        The Luke garden is pretty pricey though.

        The Keio Shinjuku garden is a good one yes but for the dept store located sites, I like the one atop Matsuya Dept Store in Ginza. This year’s Matsuya setup is particularly nice:

        Summertime beer gardens atop parking buildings in Auckland would be excellent. Any beer company would be literally foaming at the mouth to sponsor such a decent size pop-up over the summer. Given that Asahi own Independent Liquor, Kirin own Lion and Suntory own Frucor, AT should be contacting these companies now to talk to their respective Japanese NZ Country Managers about a summer 2014-2015 beer garden pop-up.

  1. Of course the sense of this is entirely logical. As multi-story carparks lose custom it is always from the top down that they empty. After all we only drive up them [or down for the subterranean ones] as far as we need to find a space. I remember seeing one in Vancouver that was a market garden supplying salad veges to inner city restaurants from it’s sunny rooftop…

  2. Check out The Little Vege Patch Co allotment gardens on the Federal Square carpark building roof in Melbourne. Great place to rent a vege patch for urbanites/office workers, cafes etc. Why limit it to carpark roofs?

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