Munich to utilize parking lots by building affordable housing on top of them

The German city of Munich is preparing for a population boom within the next few years. In recent reports it is stated that it expects its residents to grow by 30% by 2020. 

With an ongoing lack of accommodation and perpetually rising rents, the city has found an innovative new plan which has already been implemented. The idea is to fully utilize multi-storey car parks (or ‘parking lots’, depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside) by building affordable apartments on top of them.

One of the first projects to be announced is that of a 120-unit apartment complex which is set to be built on top of a swimming pool parking lot.

New housing in Schwabing, Munich. (Flickr/digital cat)
New housing in Schwabing, Munich. (Flickr/digital cat)

The floor leader of Munich’s ruling Social Democrats, Alexander Reissl, recently said of the housing problem; “We have to build as many new apartments as possible. That’s not easy, because Munich is already the most densely built-up city in Germany. Open spaces are rare. So the question for us is: Where can we find innovative solutions for the problem? The Social Democrats had the idea to build apartments above parking lots. Nobody will claim that parking lots are such attractive places that they couldn’t be changed”

According to Fast Company:

In a pilot project this year, the city plans to build a new apartment building on top of a city-owned parking lot next to a swimming pool that was originally used in the 1972 Olympics. The new four-story building will have 120 apartments, all basic enough to be affordable for students, low-income families, and the growing group of refugees who will be allowed to stay in Munich.

“The accommodation of refugees is a big challenge for Munich,” he says. “But not only for them do we need cheaper apartments. Munich is the city with the highest rents in [all of] Germany. Students, trainees, or pensioners are seriously affected by the expensive prices in our city. To end the price spiral, we have to build many new lofts with reduced standards and subsequently hopefully with reduced rents.”

The first parking lot projects are set to be completed by the end of this year.

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