REPORT ON SHOPPING CENTRE DESIGN Prepared for The Shopping Centre Council of Australia By Ingham Planning with the assistance of The Buchan Group (Brisbane) Lyndhurst, Suite 19, 303 Pacific Highway, Lindfield NSW 2070 Telephone: 02 9416 9111 Facsimile: 02 9416 9799 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Job No. 02039 December 2002 IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 1 1 Introduction The Shopping Centre Council of Australia This report is in response to a brief from the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) to provide an analysis of shopping centre design with particular regard to the The Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) is the national retail property Sydney metropolitan region and a discussion of the major current issues in shopping policy arm of the Property Council of Australia. centre design. The brief follows a statement by Planning NSW's Urban Design Advisory Committee (UDAC) that it intends to investigate the creation of design SCCA represents owners and managers of shopping centres in working for guidelines for shopping centre development. public policy outcomes which encourage the development of the shopping centre industry. The members of the SCCA are the owners/developers/managers of generally large shopping centres. Therefore this report focuses on this form of retailing. The report Primarily the SCCA represents owners of investment grade retail property. In the aims to assist UDAC in gaining an understanding of the industry perspective so that main these owners are superannuation funds, listed property trusts and property it is fully informed of the relevant issues in its consideration of the possible guidelines. syndicates entrusted with the prudent investment of the retirement savings of The report supplements the previous discussions held with the SCCA and its millions of Australians. members and the presentation by the SCCA to UDAC on 20 November 2002. As noted at this presentation meeting, in addition to providing this report, the SCCA, The SCCA members are: being the peak industry body, seeks a close working relationship with UDAC AMP Henderson Global Investors throughout the life of this project. Centro Properties Group CFS Gandel Retail Trust The report includes the following Sections: Deutsche Asset Management (Australia) Section 2 provides a discussion of the evolution of shopping centre design and identification of the recent and current trends; FPD Savills/Byvan Section 3 summarises the current planning framework for the consideration of Intro International shopping centre proposals; Jones Lang LaSalle Section 4 discusses the main design issues for shopping centres and includes Leda Holdings comments about the design process and the key functional aspects Lend Lease Retail which influence design; Macquarie CountryWide Trust Section 5 provides a summary of conclusions drawn from the preceding sections. McConaghy Holdings Throughout the report are examples of recent shopping centre development which MCS Property Limited highlight the high quality of current design. Perron Group Queensland Investment Corporation Stockland Trust Group Westfield Holdings Limited Yu Feng Group. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 2 2 Changing Directions Then the 90's came along with the growing world movement of new urbanism and smart growth, a search for authenticity, and an even greater focus on entertainment Shopping centres of the type described began being established in Australia in the and eating. Planning authorities have encouraged the establishment and late 1950's. In the beginning, these shopping centres were a tool to fill the gap revitalisation of town centres. The market is now also demanding an environment created by a need for the convenient and efficient distribution of goods to a fast where the basic aspects of daily life can be accommodated in a way that is growing population. convenient and enjoyable. The establishment of mixed use areas where people can During the late 60's and 70's the design of shopping centres resulted in some very work, rest and play have become the focus of both new areas and urban renewal basic, pragmatic layouts and often unimaginative exterior presentation. Features of projects. The shopping centre plays an integral part in this process and in some these centres included: cases provides the basis for the creation of new and revitalised town centres. Large carparks No links to the local community Large box shapes Often poor regard for the surrounding environment The capture and contain mentality. As the 70's progressed we find a few centres starting to question the design and layout that had become regarded as typical. The first centre to do this was Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast in Queensland. This centre followed the open air approach and looked to establish a fabric of streets, places and parks. The large box design was modulated by laminating other smaller active buildings onto the edge of these boxes. After this we find the approach to shopping centre design changed rapidly with greater amounts of style being created. A lot of this change was caused by the fact that most of the catch up to demand had been fulfilled in the 60's and early 70's and hence to achieve a successful shopping centre one had to compete with various other retail opportunities. However one could see that the customer was beginning to demand better designed environments to shop in and of course recreate in. Recreation time had been recognised as a commodity and hence the retail sector started to provide recreational opportunities such as: Cinemas Cafes Lifestyle retail Harbour Town in Queensland (Fig 1, top) and Knox City in Victoria (Fig 2, above) highlight the change in direction of Entertainment in various forms. shopping centre design - far removed from the traditional concrete box. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 3 What does the future hold? The following list highlights some recent trends: 3 The Current Planning Framework increasing spending on food and merchandise; As noted above, there has been a significant shift in the retail sector and customers greater diversity of uses in shopping centres, particularly the provision of are far more discerning of the environment in which they shop. The market itself is entertainment/lifestyle attractions such as cinemas; generating a demand for more integrated, multi-use and well designed centres. creation of precincts targeted towards certain parts of the market; It is not only customers that are driving the need for better design, the expectations of the relevant planning authorities have also increased. These days, shopping the impact of the increasing popularity of electronic services such as internet centre designers know that their proposals will be subject to intensive scrutiny by a shopping and phone banking; vast range of professionals, politicians and the public. One only has to look at the creating environments that respond to changing demographics including more current standard of design, as can be seen throughout this report, to know that singles and childless couples and increasing average age; developers now take the issue of design very seriously. In keeping with changing expectations, planning authorities have been taking greater interest in shopping creating environments where people feel comfortable including the identification centres and urban design generally. The following discussion provides details of the of the 'third place' - a place away from home and work where people want to current planning framework within which shopping centres (in Sydney) are assessed. spend their time; recreating the 'high street' or 'old town centre' shopping experience including externalisation of spaces, better integration into surrounding context and permeability; the breaking down of visits into categories including chore shopping, discretionary shopping and leisure activities such as eating, drinking and moviegoing; the importance of design aesthetics including the use of high profile architects/interior designers. Activation of streets and public spaces has been on the planning agenda for a number of years. Westfield Burwood This range of influences highlights that urban design is but one of many factors that (Fig 4, left) and Castle Towers (Fig 5, right) provide examples of how recent development is successfully responding need to be considered. A well designed shopping centre does not necessarily result to this issue. in a successful shopping centre. Conversely, there are centres which many would say are unattractive, yet they are very successful. A balanced approach will consider all of the above matters in order to achieve a positive outcome for all. 3.1 State planning For many years, strategy plans for the Sydney metropolitan region have sought to encourage the concentration of employment and commerce in major urban centres. This policy continues in the latest metropolitan strategy "Shaping Our Cities". There are no State government planning policies which specifically relate to the development of shopping centres. Without any adequate statutory planning instruments in place, there have been a considerable number of significant retail outlets approved in 'out-of centre' locations. However, draft State Environmental Planning Policy No 66 - Integrating Land Use and Transport has been exhibited and has aims which include discouraging the establishment of significant employment or people generating activities in out-of Castle Towers in NSW (Fig 3) evokes the 'old town centre' shopping experience. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 4 centre locations. This includes shopping centres. The draft SEPP also contains a feeling of security is assisted by buildings and active uses, such as cafes and provisions that relate specifically to shopping centre design. In this regard, part of front verandahs, being oriented to the street. the Planning Policy Package of which draft SEPP 66 is a part includes the following Principle 7 relates to improving cycle access and contains the following relevant relevant documents: point: 'The Right Place for Business and Services - Planning policy'. The explanatory bicycle storage is conveniently located close to building entries and at ground notes of this policy include 'Part D. The right design'. The following issues are level. discussed: Principle 8 relates to managing parking supply and contains the following relevant design pointers for centres; points: design guidelines; in activity centres, parking is placed at the rear of buildings or internal to the public realm; block; safety and security; and parking for people with disabilities is provided adjacent to key facilities - it must be enforced. transport choice and integration. Principle 10 relates to implementing good urban design. The following matters are 'Improving Transport Choice - Guidelines for planning and development'. Part 1 noted as being 'best practice': contains the 'Accessible Development Principles'. Principle 2 relates to 'Mixed Uses in Centres'. The following design related matters are noted as being 'best practice': buildings and their pedestrian entrances are oriented to the street; key land uses are located within walking distance of each other (e.g. shops, building setbacks are minimised to provide natural surveillance of footpaths, bus library, childcare centres, cinemas, bus/rail interchange); stops and taxi ranks, while still allowing sunlight access and minimising wind tunnel effects; the highest densities of housing and employment appropriate to an area, are located within walking distance of public transport nodes; attractive streetscapes reinforce the functions of the street and enhance the amenity of adjacent development; uses are mixed either vertically within the same building, or horizontally on adjacent sites; bus stops are located and designed to provide shelter, seats, adequate lighting, and timetable information; they provide access for people with disabilities, and functional requirements, such as servicing, and impacts such as sound, odours are overlooked from nearby buildings; and identity in the layout and design of horizontally and vertically mixed uses, are considered; footpaths, cycleways and taxi ranks are well-lit and located where there is natural surveillance from adjacent uses; pedestrian and bicycle access is safe, direct and comfortable between uses; pedestrian amenity is enhanced by attractive, coordinated street furniture, plans and codes encourage home businesses and home workplaces. lighting and signage; Principle 6 relates to improving pedestrian access and contains the following the design of development in accessible centres, especially involving railway relevant points: stations, addresses issues of potential conflicts, such as transport noise and every development has convenient and prominent pedestrian entrances, in vibration. terms of design, signage, lighting and gradient; expanses of ground level blank walls along street frontages, and large driveways and entrances to car parks are avoided; IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 5 As redevelopment occurs over time, retail complexes should be joined more directly with street frontages and bus stops; Clear signage should direct patrons to public transport stops, taxi ranks and pedestrian links to adjacent uses. Public transport operators should provide timetable information, ranging from display cases to visual displays with touch/voice access; To encourage access by public transport, retail and other commercial and community facilities located in centres with high frequency rail services should be developed with reduced or shared parking. These location and design guidelines can be equally applied to bulky goods outlets. The need for extensive same-level parking areas for loading bulky goods is often exaggerated and little different from other retail outlets. This section includes graphics which demonstrate how a traditional layout can be transformed over time (see Figure 7, below). Should draft SEPP 66 be gazetted, it will provide a comprehensive control document for shopping centres, not only dealing with locational and transport matters but also urban design issues. This recent upgrade of Macquarie Centre in NSW (Fig 6) shows how transport links (in this case a bus interchange) can be incorporated into shopping centre design. Part 3 of 'Improving Transport Choice' relates to location and design guidelines. In regard to retail development the following design guidelines are noted: Access by all transport modes should be encouraged. The configuration of shops and other services must seek a balance between pedestrian, cyclist and driver comfort, visibility and accessibility. Shopping centres and malls, 3.2 Local planning entertainment complexes and personal services offices should be designed to There are few local planning documents that relate specifically to shopping centres. allow direct and convenient access by walking, cycling and public transport and In the majority of circumstances the land on which the shopping centre is, or is to provide access for people with disabilities; be located, would have a business zoning. The permissibility of uses within these Public transport and taxis should have direct access to retail areas. When retail zones and the development controls that relate to such development varies greatly or entertainment facilities are set back from the street, buses and taxis should from Council to Council. In most cases there are statutory controls relating to floor be easily and directly rerouted through the facility with a sheltered stop at their space ratio (FSR), height of buildings, or both. front entrance. Bus stops and taxi ranks on the far side of large car parks should be avoided; IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 6 Many Council's have documents which relate to commercial centres generally or the There are now many local government planning documents which address in detail main 'town centre' in the local government area. Those documents that fall into the the design and integration of shopping centres. Further, even where there are no latter category tend to deal with the issue of urban design in greater detail and can formal provisions in place, the growing importance of urban design and the creation be very specific. An example of such a document is draft Burwood Town Centre of lively shopping precincts in planning assessment, means that in most cases, DCP No 10, prepared on behalf of the Council by Gary Shiels and Associates. these matters would be a major consideration in the assessment of any application involving a shopping centre. Examples of how more recently constructed shopping This DCP includes discussion of precincts within the town centre, including the centres have paid greater attention to the matters of design, activity and integration 'Major Shopping Precinct', which contains the Westfield Shoppingtown and are provided throughout this report. Burwood Plaza shopping centres. Detailed objectives and development controls are provided in order to achieve the stated 'Desired Future Character' for the precinct. Urban design and in particular the manner in which development relates to the public domain and surrounding uses is a significant element of these provisions. Whilst still a draft document, Council relied upon its provisions in its 4 Design Issues for Shopping Centres consideration of the recently completed redevelopment of Westfield Shoppingtown. As can be seen in Figure 18, this redevelopment provides a good example of an 4.1 The Design Process appropriate balance between the constraints of an existing building and the desire Before discussing the design process, it is considered appropriate to emphasise two to provide a more contemporary response to the site context. financial aspects of shopping centre design that sets it apart from other forms of An example of planning documents that apply in a greenfield context is the Rouse development. Hill Regional Centre LEP and DCP. These documents contain provisions which The first is that shopping centre owners/developers are, in the vast majority of specifically deal with the future urban form of the centre, including the creation of a circumstances committed to a financial return over a long period. Unlike some other pleasant and lively main street as the focus for retailing. The recently issued forms of development, the shopping centre developers' involvement does not end Expression of Interest document for the creation of this centre contained an example upon the completion and sale of the building. Given this long term commitment of main street retailing (see Figure 8 below). there is greater interest in ensuring profitability on an ongoing basis. This interest, in the current environment, encourages high quality design. The other financial factor is financial viability. Shopping centres are affected by changes in the market including competition. Competition is an integral part of the retail environment and the risk from competition is acknowledged in feasibility analysis. However, changes to the retail hierarchy bought about by poor planning decisions is a risk that cannot be predicted. Given the significant amounts of capital required to develop and redevelop shopping centre, the developer needs to be confident that there is no unforeseen threat to achieving an appropriate return on their investment. In the present environment, there is a certain level of comfort. However, the failure of local and State government to protect established shopping centres in existing commercial area from out-of-centre retailers is a great cause for concern. The spectre of such threats mean a reduced likelihood of older centres being rejuvenated and less chance of high quality urban design outcomes being achieved. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 7 As previously noted 'urban design' (or the way in which a shopping centre appears in, and relates to, its context) is but one of many issues that require careful consideration in shopping centre design. The starting point for the design of a shopping centre is to establish 'a first cut' tenancy mix. As Jean Louis Solal, a French specialist in retail layout and a writer on shopping centres, said "A good tenant mix is the bloodline of the shopping centre industry". Solal goes on to say "The development process should not be started by the architect, but by the establishment of a merchandising concept. This tenant mix will drive a range of issues in the brief and will provide a self regulating effect on the changing face of shopping centres. Belmont in Western Australia (Fig 10, above) shows how an appropriate interface of the public and private domain Key steps are the identification of: can create a pleasant streetscape. Demographics Tenant mix The character of shopping centres will be determined by the users and these users continue to be educated about lifestyle. The character of a shopping centre is often Size a response to customer needs, climate, design trends and planning trends. Requirements of the shoppers i.e. the community Competition will always be the driver and the mother of inventive design outcomes for retail. The physical concept The trends in retail identified in Section 2 above are influencing the range and type The construction of design elements that need to be considered. The key design elements are considered to be: The leasing. 1. Planning Convenience Security Customer Orientation Lines of Visibility Efficient Planning and Strong Anchoring of Malls Comfort Dynamics The reworking of Hornsby Town Square as part of the redevelopment of Westfield Hornsby (Fig 9, above) was subject of a lengthy consultation process with the local Council. Promenade IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 8 Location of Amenities Environmental Graphics Meeting Place Excitement Flexibility of Environment. Promenade Meeting Place. 2. Specialist Retail Environment External Appearance 5. Visual & Impact Internal and External Style Care of the Environment Point of Difference in Competitive Market Environment Graphics Clarity of Presentation Lines of Visibility Lines of Visibility Internal and External Style. Lighting Environmental Graphics 6. People Spaces Colour Convenience Dynamics of Space Security Excitement of the Space Customer Orientation Flexibility of the Environment. Lines of Visibility Efficient Planning and Strong Anchoring of Malls 3. Tenancy Mix Comfort Focus Retailing Dynamics Community Use and a Community Focus Promenade Retail Mix Location of Amenities A Meeting Place. Meeting Place Flexibility of Environment. 4. Entertainment Leisure Internal and External Style Passive and Active Entertainment IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 9 7. Connectivity to Fabric of Community are internalised. As total redevelopment is rarely a viable option, the refurbishment of such centres must be a compromise between what may be Street Patterns 'ideal' and the existing reality; Pedestrian Connection the functional requirements for shopping centres which include: Part of the Fabric of Community. q the need for 'big boxes' in which to contain large format retailing; q convenient parking to meet the needs of customers; and Running in tandem to design driven by the customers is a process of consultation q provision of easily accessible and available loading docks. with the community and regulatory authorities. Large projects in particular involve a significant amount of consultation. This process allows modifications to the design These constraints create very complex and difficult issues for shopping centre which aim to provide a balanced response to the issues raised by all stakeholders. designers. Such are these constraints that the 'ideal' scenario (particularly from the The final design really is a collaborative effort. It would not be unusual for the design planning authorities point of view) cannot always be achieved. Whilst the ideal is and approvals process to extend well beyond a year. It is worth noting that in the something all parties would agree, is something that we should all work towards, it vast majority of cases large centres result from a negotiated outcome - they rarely must be acknowledged that achieving the ideal costs money and sometimes result in a refusal by Council or an appeal to the Land and Environment Court. overcoming all the constraints would be economically unviable. The design process for shopping centres is far more complex than say, an A detailed discussion of each of the above requirements is provided below. apartment building where government now guides all aspects of building design. Shopping centre design is a highly specialised and changeable area of expertise that is not well suited to the application of rigid controls. The other major point of difference from some other forms of development is the long term involvement of the owner/developer. As noted earlier, and unlike, say, residential flat buildings, there is no large short term profit in large shopping centre development. The majority of owners are there for the long term. Therefore they have a greater interest in ensuring profitability on an ongoing basis. This interest, in the current environment, encourages high quality design. 4.2 Specific urban design issues Notwithstanding the above, it must be remembered that due to their nature, it is a very difficult task to create shopping centres which respond to all the different expectations of customers and regulatory authorities. The main constraints in this regard are discussed below: This image of Westfield Hornsby (Fig 11) shows the size of building required for large format uses and how such the vast majority of shopping centre development is actually the redevelopment forms can be appropriate 'descaled'. of existing centres. As most of these centres have been established for many years, they have not benefited from the changes in attitude of the market and developers towards design. They are often very large, box-like structures which IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 10 Cinema boxes are the highest of the large format users requiring between 9m to 12m; They have a requirements for strong visual identification usually with signage and sometimes with external colour. Major tenants typically have very rigid requirements in terms of the space they require. This is because duplication of the same or similar configuration over many stores creates efficiencies that are of great value to the retailers. Notwithstanding the above, recent developments are reducing the impacts of the buildings required to accommodate large format tenants through innovative and good design as can be seen in many of the graphics in this report. Northbridge Plaza in NSW (Fig12, above) is a smaller shopping centre where an appropriate balance has been achieved in relation to the public domain. The front of the centre to the main shopping street is activated with glass, allowing the activities within the supermarket to be visible. The 'back-of-house' part of the centre is located on a Parking non-active streetfront and is appropriately articulated and detailed. Parking is typically provided in accordance with the requirements of the local Council or the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority. In some cases, a shopping centre will require more parking than the standard, in other cases, less. The circumstances vary greatly, however, for centres of the size discussed in this report, a significant number of car spaces are required to ensure the viability of the centre. In the majority of cases, it is simply not viable to provide car parking underground. It is also not practical in most cases as customers demand parking with easy access to the shops and as such parking levels match retail levels. Due to the functional nature of car parking, the provision of large car parking structures above ground, creates a design issue. In the past, large, simple concrete structures would meet the functional needs with little attention given to the external appearance. In many cases the only amelioration was to provide thick screen planting. Whilst in some Westfield Bondi Junction in NSW (Fig 13, above) is a recent example of how the constraints of an existing centre cases, this solution provides a reasonable outcome, this is not generally considered can be overcome to provide a high quality urban outcome. to be an adequate outcome in today's environment. In more recent times, far greater attention has been given to ensuring that the visual Large format retailing impact of large parking structures is reduced. A variety of measures are now employed in order to address this issue, including: The need for shopping centres to provide large, unrestricted spaces for major tenants is a significant element in the design of a centre. Department stores such enclosing the car park with walls and providing appropriate measures to reduce as David Jones or Grace Bros can require up to 9000sqm of floor area per level over building bulk such as different materials, colours and textures, building a number of levels. Discount department stores require around 6,000-7000sqm of articulation and architectural features (see Figures 15 and 16); floor area and supermarkets between 2000 and 5000/sqm. The constraints of the use of appropriately designed screens (see Figures 15 and 16); these large formats include: the use of signage which screens the car park and activates the façade; Plan dimensions are usually rectangular or square; of course, landscaping remains an important factor in addressing the issue of Height internally usually requires an external height of approximately 6.0m; visual bulk. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 11 Chadstone in Victoria (Fig 14) provides a good example of how the large buildings required for some retailing can be design in a way that results in a pleasant environment. The redevelopment of Mirrabooka shopping centre in Western Australia (Fig 17 above) included a number of new access points and significant reworking of existing entries to enhance permeability. Loading docks Loading docks are an integral feature of shopping centres that create specific issues such as noise, odour, visual appearance, light spill and hours of use. As with parking, regulatory authorities often require a particular ratio of loading docks in relation to the size of centres. However these requirements are often increased to accommodate retailer's specific needs and the desire to recycle garbage and packaging. Loading Docks can be designed in such a way as to be screened from external view lines and often have a service yard enclosure which helps to disguise them. The façade treatment of Westfield Burwood (Fig 18, above) provides for a streetscape which integrates well with the existing shopfronts along Burwood Road. 4.3 Other design issues Integration and permeability As indicated in Section 2 shopping centre development is responding to the changing retail environment. One of the most significant change is the level of integration and permeability being incorporated into designs. Most new centres are no longer "turning their backs" to the surrounding environment. These images of Fox Studios carpark (Figs 15 and 16) demonstrate that the large car parks often associated with The use of "Town Squares" and "High Streets" are providing a method of transition shopping centres can be well designed and contribute to a quality public domain. and at the same time improving or reinstating the convenience aspect of large shopping centre. This in turns provides a better visual impact by the centre on the surrounding built environment. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 12 The use of "Town Squares" and "High Streets" creates externalised, active frontage There is also widespread commitment to recycling and reuse of materials. which often open onto public roads, parks, water front etc. These connections In addition to the issue of energy efficiency, shopping centres assist in creating create a useful blurring of public and private space which helps in the integration of sustainable neighbourhoods. By providing for a wide range of needs locally, there the centre into the fabric of the surrounding streetscape. is less need for residents to travel greater distances, thereby reducing the length and The influence of these issues can be seen in many of the examples shown in this number of vehicle trips. report. Sustainability The issue of sustainability has great relevance to retail environments. Many centres are designed to collect good natural light within the internal space to create a feeling of outdoor environment. The recurrent costs of a retail centre can be greatly reduced by energy efficient design and management practices. Passive solar design and the provision of cross ventilation are provided where appropriate however, due to the size and functional requirement of shopping centres and the need to provide a climactically stable environment for customers, such measures are often difficult to incorporate into design. Construction, operational and management measures which are energy efficient are playing a much greater role in conserving resources. Such measures include: high shading coefficient and high thermal resistance glazing material is used to minimise heat transmission; triphosphor lamps are used instead of the conventional fluorescent tubes; metal halide lamps to replace tungsten halogen; circuit management of the lighting zones; photo-cell control for external lighting; Chadstone in Victoria (Fig 19) shows how the use of natural light can be maximised. automatic on/off when the ambient illuminating level is required; power factor correction system; Security building services (including air conditioning) which are fully programmable and Security is a significant issue for both shopping centre owners and customers. can be updated to suit any changes to the building and maintain high energy Buildings are designed to minimise the potential for criminal activity with measures efficiency. such as providing good sight lines, removing spaces that can be used for hiding and shortening 'dead' spaces such as walkways to toilets. As there is limited scope in building design to address security issues, the chief measures used are surveillance and security personnel. IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 13 the greater permeability being provided by shopping centres and required by authorities; greater integration with surrounding public domain; and the provision of true 'open space' within shopping centres, ie outdoor, unencumbered recreation spaces. Most large shopping centres have always provided semi-public space to allow for the circulation of customers. These spaces are generally required to be publicly accessible, but usually only during operating hours. Due to the nature of these spaces, in some cases, consent authorities have excluded such areas from floor space calculations. These spaces are becoming more public in terms of level of accessibility provided and the actual nature of the space, often as a requirement of the consent authority. Often what is being provided is high quality public domain which comes at no cost The extensions to Erina Fair in NSW (Fig 20) respond to community needs as well as retail needs with the provision of a town square. to the public. Whilst there is some benefit in providing such environments for shopping centre owners, to further encourage the creation of such areas, the consideration of some credit to the owner would be beneficial. This would also Community Enhancement create some equality in the present public/private domain situation where public spaces are leased to private users for substantial fees. Shopping centres have many strong community benefits. They accommodate retail 'chain' stores which provide an efficient method of distributing goods, allows these goods to be sold at lower prices. They also accommodate specialty shops which respond to the demands of the local community and are often owned by local people. Shopping centres provide safe, pleasant meeting places for the community often providing a focus for social activities. As noted previously, in recent times the shopping centre industry has sought to enhance the role of the shopping centre in the community, expanding the range of uses provided. Many shopping centres now include entertainment and leisure facilities. Others are going a step further, aiming to be the focus for the business centre in which they are located by creating 'town square' or 'high street' environments. Public / Private space The issue of the blurring of the public and private domain is growing in importance as a result of societal changes and the shopping centre designers' response to these changes. Key aspects of this 'blurring' include: the use of the public domain for commercial uses such as outdoor dining and Knox City in Victoria (Fig 21) provides an example of a very public space within a shopping centre. market retailing; IPN GNH A M L A N I N G 14 6 Conclusion This report has provided an industry perspective of the current status of shopping centre development and assessment, with particular regard to NSW. It is considered that the current environment encourages high quality shopping centre development and redevelopment. New planning legislation in the form of SEPP 66 includes provisions related to design which will further encourage shopping centre developers to create integrated and accessible centres with a high quality interface with the public domain. The examples of recent shopping centre development detailed in this report, demonstrates that many of the issues to be considered by UDAC are already being addressed in the current planning framework. Whilst the SCCA are always open to suggestions on how design can be improved, they are encouraged from the discussions with UDAC, that it is not intended to recommend 'prescriptive' design guidelines. Given the specific and complex nature of shopping centres as discussed in this Woden Town Centre in ACT (Fig 22) - Woden Plaza has been an integrated part of the Woden Town Centre since report, it is considered that applying guidelines would not be appropriate or its opening in the1970's. Recently expanded in 2000 - it now includes external cafe and restaurants. productive. It would be a poor outcome if, like many other planning provisions, these guidelines simply result in more 'boxes' required to be ticked by the consent authority in the development assessment process. As the peak industry body, the SCCA believe the involvement of their major developer members is essential to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all stakeholders. The agreement of UDAC to meet further with the SCCA and its members is a positive first step in this process. The SCCA are happy to co-operate further with UDAC. In particular, it is considered that it would be useful for some members to 'walk-through' one or more of their major projects, so that UDAC members are made fully aware of the detailed and significant approval process that is already in place and the many amendments to the design that result from this process. With ongoing co-operation, it is hoped that the end result will be the creation of an environment that will encourage innovative, responsive and high quality shopping centre design, without lengthening the development approval process. Sunshine Plaza in Queensland (Fig 23) is a shopping centre where there is great 'blurring' between the public and private domain, providing in an integrated design solution.