The development of diverse suburban activity centres in Melbourne, Australia: Planning policies and retail locationsCreated by Hiroki Yamashita, TadashiFujii &Satoru Itoh
Sustainable urban form presents the most critical problem facing most metropolitan areas following the suburbanization of urban functions in the 20th Century. Melbourne, the second major metropolitan area in Australia, has experienced motorization, creating a dispersed urban form, but has maintained its transit system and attempted to construct a compact suburban centre network. In this article, the characteristics of these suburban centres in Melbourne are analysed in detail. As a consequence, the centres are classified into the following four types: (a) Traditional centres mainly in the inner suburbs. (b) Stand-alone large suburban shopping centres. (c) Town centres formed around stations with central facilities in outer suburbs. (d) Newly-constructed centres resulting from the post 1980’s planning policies and built near stations in outer suburbs. The paper also discusses the opportunities and problems generated by this diverse range of centres in the context of the planning scheme which seeks to combine compact centres with a public transit network.