Shops key to walkable growth areas

19 Dec 2020

Victoria Walks has called for new rules requiring shopping areas in new suburbs to be designed like traditional mainstreet shops rather than car-oriented shopping malls.

Our research on Walking and Transport in Melbourne Suburbs demonstrated that people are more than three times as likely to walk to mainstreet shops compared to shopping malls in the middle and outer suburbs (see infograph above).  This is not particularly surprising - if places are inviting and designed for people, walking is attractive.  If places are clearly designed for cars, people will choose to drive.

In a recent submission to the Victoria Planning Authority on the Precinct Structure Plan Guidelines, Victoria Walks called for the guidelines to require:

  • Buildings fronting the street
  • Lower rates of car parking
  • Car parking on the street, in car parking buildings or to the side or rear of shops
  • Locating centres away from arterial roads.

More generally, the Victoria Walks submission calls for changes to new suburbs including:

  • Increased housing density 
  • Streets designed for low traffic speed
  • More regular pedestrian crossings on major roads, with a ban on any roads with more than four lanes or a speed limit higher than 60 km/h.

Read the submission here