Retail form in Melbourne and Brisbane: a preliminary investigation into the differences between the two cities
ABSTRACT: Retail facilities are a critical element of urban form often given insufficient consideration by the planning profession. While retail form has implications for matters such as consumer accessibility, quality of service and transport patterns and has been the subject of investigations overseas, there have been comparatively few investigations into the nature of retail form in Australia and the factors that shape that form. Elements to be considered include the spatial distribution, location and ownership of retailing as well as the diversity and number of shops. Using a variety of secondary documentary and other sources this paper seeks to examine retail form in Brisbane and Melbourne. Initial impressions suggest that Melbourne may have retained a greater number of traditional strip shopping centres, while Brisbane appears to have a greater number of corporately owned shopping malls. The research will aim to build a profile of each city’s retail form, within the limitations of available data, before attempting to suggest reasons for variation found in the development of retail in both cities. Later research will investigate the extent to which planning strategies, heritage protection or other forms of planning regulation may have shaped the retail landscape.