Bringing Rooftop Gardens To Ground Level

Sourced from Facility Executive

Cities across the nation are embracing green spaces as a viable development tool due to their many benefits, but as urban areas begin to attract more residents and visitors, they also attract an increased demand for parking space. How can developers satisfy parking needs while also creating open spaces for urban parks? Building a green roof into an existing structure is one innovative and effective option.

The Columbus Commons, a multi-use park in the heart of downtown Columbus, serves as a successful example of how cities can use urban space efficiently to bring life to downtown centers while still offering necessary facilities like parking.

Previously the site of a nearly-vacant urban shopping mall, Columbus Commons was designed by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) to establish a community green space in the city’s downtown. The mall was surgically removed to preserve the garage beneath with a large portion of Columbus Commons built on the roof, creating both a prominent city attraction in one compact area and an unobtrusive parking area for visitors and local businesses to utilize.

The project, completed on-time and on-budget for $25 million, has already generated more than $400 million in private investment around the park. The project’s meticulously planned infrastructure and economic success offers developers a comprehensive solution to deal with conflicting demand for parking and land development, while enjoying six acres of sought-after green space as their backyard. CDDC continues to manage Columbus Commons as a seasonally programmed award-winning event space, offering more than 200 events for the community to enjoy. The challenges of day-to-day operations on a green roof over a parking garage are outweighed by the tangible benefits of having a thriving gathering space that serves as the signature space in downtown Columbus.

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