Grouped (surface) parking Print

Desi​gn Checklist

  1. Quality street environments are established where each home positively addresses the street
  2. Convenient and safe routes between the parking space and the house are provided
  3. Car and cycle parking is safe and secure 
  4. An efficient use of the land is achieved

​​​​​Grouped parking courts include a shared area or areas for resident and/or visitor parking which is accessed off a shared driveway or accessway.  This section discusses the positive and negative attributes of grouped surface parking, and offers better design practice and rules of thumb for achieving quality outcomes.

When parking is in a shared courtyard, the design of the courtyard should also:

  • balance movement modes / not just the car;
  • be attractive and promote residents' use as a quality open space, including use of planting and paved / block surfaces; and
  • be overlooked from adjacent housing with appropriate fence design to promote visibility as well as privacy.


Advantages of grouped (surface) parking

  • Greater opportunities for direct connections between the ground level indoor living and dining area of a terraced house and the private back garden. 
  • Greater opportunities for visual contact between ground level habitable spaces, and the grouped parking area and the shared accessway.  
  • Inexpensive.
  • Opportunity for shared use of the courtyard including recreational use.
  • Parking spaces can be allocated to each dwelling.


Disadvantages of grouped (surface) parking

  • Can often result in car-dominated spaces.
  • Possible security limitations if there is a lack of visibility from dwellings.
  • A body corporate is often required to certify the ongoing maintenance of the grouped parking area.

Better Design Practice

When parking in a shared courtyard the design should balance the needs of all modes rather than focusing on vehicle movements.  Create an attractive, slow speed environment that is designed as an outdoor space first and as places for parking second, to create high-amenity landscaped spaces which are multi- functional.  Site design should prioritise the communal or private open spaces over the group parking.

Organise the terraced houses to surround the parking court and create a secure entrance to the parking area(s).  Parking courts should be well surveyed from adjacent building frontages and should be well lit at night.  Permanent and sensor lighting systems should be provided to create a safer journey from the parking area to the front door.  Balance the need for privacy with CPTED requirements for visual engagement between the ground floor layout of the terraced house and the parking court.  Boundary treatment such as fence height and design needs to be considered here.

Parking courts should be designed to minimise storm water runoff and provide attractive areas for recreation. Parking courts should include water sensitive design systems such as permeable paving and functional landscape networks. They should also retain or plant larger clusters of trees and other vegetation which contribute to local biodiversity and potentially food production. An ongoing maintenance strategy for the parking court and landscape networks should be developed.

Rules of Thumb

Provide a clear path of at least 1200mm wide to offer an accessible route between surface parking and the front door

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