According to estimates by Giken Ltd., our cars are only driven for about 3-5% of their entire 'life span', being parked somewhere for the rest of the time. With households usually owning more than just one car on the average, parking so many automobiles quickly becomes a problem, as land space intended for them isn't exactly unlimited.

The company therefore figured it would be most ideal to arrange car parking options below ground, so the ground above can be used for, for example, residential purposes.

Giken Ltd. developed the so-called ECO Park, a fully automatic anti-seismic underground car parking system under the slogan "Culture Aboveground, Function Underground". Their concept provides parking space options in heavily populated urban areas, enabling individuals to leave their cars close to their desired destinations (such as stations, commercial buildings, hospitals, schools and cultural facilities), without disturbing the natural environment and activities above ground. 

The ECO Park requires only an area of 20m x 20m (for the car entrance booth) to build. Everything a city needs to create it, including all the machinery, was designed and developed by Giken. The construction is carried out by the environmentally- friendly Press-in Method with "prefabricated piles pressed into the ground to form the wall of the circular shaft." Once the soil is removed from and the shaft is created, a mechanical parking system is installed inside.

A computer controls all the car loading and unloading operations automatically and enables perfect security underground. System users receive unique magnetic IC cards to enter the loading booth and simply follow voice instructions (also displayed on a monitor).

The company says the construction as well as running costs of their ECO Park concept are very low, since they hardly require any human input. With substantially reduced manpower costs, the ECO Park is, in the words of its creators, 'ecological' as well as 'economical'.

Sounds great, we want ECO Parks in our city, too!

Jan. 5, 2016 Driving photo: Giken Ltd.

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