Life in the jungle - surviving Amazon

7 May 2018

Interesting ‘Main Street’ shopping strips are great features of Melbourne. Places like Brunswick Street, Sydney Road and Acland Street are famous examples, but most established suburbs have their own traditional shopping streets at the heart of the community.

While these vibrant, local shopping streets have stood the test of time and survived competition from shopping malls, they now face significant threats from online retailing. Internet shopping is growing fast - an amazing 83 percent of American adults who use the internet (that is to say, nearly all of them) made a purchase from Amazon in 2016.

If local shopping streets are to survive the online threat, they'll need to make the most of their point of difference - the pleasant experience of shopping in the real world.

Victoria Walks has collaborated with urban access consultant Dr David Mepham to explore practical ways for local councils to create attractive, accessible, connected Main Streets. In One step ahead… Planning for Accessible Centres and Connected Stations, he explains how suburban Main Streets can stay 'one step ahead' of the online threat by improving the place experience, with a particular focus on local accessibility.

This report covers a range of urban access issues, including sections on:

  • Planning and urban design for attractive, walkable centres
  • Ensuring an animated and accessible Main Street experience with better footpath dining, place making, active edges and easy/safe crossing
  • Rethinking side street and laneways to create engaging and connected places with safe, easy access to nearby stations and car parking
  • Best practice planning, design and use of new technology for smarter car parking management
  • Six Melbourne case studies of suburban centres and train stations – what works, what doesn’t and how to improve.

Read the report here