How a parking lot becomes a neighborhood activity space, Tainan, Taiwan China

How did an old town neighborhood transformed their parking lot into a mixed-use space?

The information on this project was compiled by students from the University of Geneva as part of the Urban Futures Workshop (full report).

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There is a parking plaza adjacent to the east section of Xinyi Street and Lane 148. It is private property. After a building got demolished, it became an empty space, so the landlord decided to provide this space (for rent) as a parking lot to the 39 store managers around the area to attract customers. Since this open space is located at the intersection of the street, it has become a node for people to come and go.

Additionally, the landlord and the neighbourhood community decided to not just use it as a parking space, but also to hold events and activities for interested people on the square. Customers of Xinyi Street cafes and tea shops in the western area often pass by the parking lot to visit the eastern part of Xinyi Street, as it inhabits several famous art museums and small photo studios that are popular among tourists.

Date : Summer 2016

Implementation period: Several weeks


Time life of the project: Achieved (spontaneous transformation between the parking lot and the activity space)

Status of land: Private

Type of place: Old town neighbourhood parking lot


The stakeholders involved in the project include all residents of the neighborhood or students from the Tainan University of Science and Technology just a few blocks away.

  • Land and tea shops owners
  • Small businesses around the neighborhood
  • Neighborhood youth organizations
  • Neighborhood residents
  • TUST graduates

Target audience

The main targeted audience are the residents of the neighborhood, particularly the youth to provide them an activity space. Additionally, as the area remains popular among tourists, they are attracted to spend some time and money in the shops and cafes around the parking lot.

Citizen participation

The project itself was entirely citizen-based, no authority was involved in any stage of the project. It could be considered a neighborhood project with 100% citizen participation.

Types of intervention

  • Tourism: Tourists were asked to park their cars outside the neighborhood.
  • Residents: Each resident parking their car was kindly asked not to pull the handbrake, in case they need to move the car to create space for an activity.
  • Shop Owners: It was requested that they do some advertisement for activities taking place in the parking lot.


This project was the first scientifically recorded project of its kind. Around the Tainan old town, other neighborhoods followed their example, not just to improve the community feeling, but also to profit from tourists attracted by such projects.

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The project successfully revitalized the community life in the neighborhoods with frequent activities held in the parking lot, e.g. lectures hosted by the neighborhood youth organization about Qigong. On weekends, there were occasional pop-up music performances by young street artists. A monthly local vegetable market was organized or neighborhood youth organization meetings were all held in this parking lot/square at Xinyi Street.



No. 35 , Lane 148, Section 3, Minzu Road, West Central District Tainan City, Taiwan 700



Lin, J. (2017). (An Action Research of the Practice of Tactical Urbanism in Tainan Downtown). Tainan Chenggong University. P. 36-49.


  • Type of action : valorisation
  • State : En cours