The misanthropes, larrikins and mallrats of market square: an enduring public space dilemma in central Geelong

Gray, Fiona 2015, The misanthropes, larrikins and mallrats of market square: an enduring public space dilemma in central Geelong, in SAHANZ 2015 : architecture institutes and change. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand., Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand, Sydney, N.S.W., pp. 218-230.

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Title The misanthropes, larrikins and mallrats of market square: an enduring public space dilemma in central Geelong
Author(s) Gray, Fiona
Conference name SAHANZ. Conference (32nd : 2015 : Sydney, N.S.W.)
Conference location Sydney, N.S.W.
Conference dates 7-10 Jul. 2015
Title of proceedings SAHANZ 2015 : architecture institutes and change. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand.
Editor(s) Hogben, Paul
O'Callaghan, Judith
Publication date 2015
Series Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand v.32
Start page 218
End page 230
Total pages 13
Publisher Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Keyword(s) Public space
Geelong
Pedestrian malls
Summary Market Square was a public reserve located in the centre of the Victorian regional city of Geelong. It was established by Governor Sir George Gipps during the initial surveying of the area in 1838. The square later became a produce market, before being progressively built upon for public and commercial purposes. Today, the modern Market Square Shopping Centre occupies a substantial portion of the original site. Opened in 1985 by the City of Geelong, the complex initially drew high rental incomes for the Council. However, by the early 1990s revenue began to decline after the collapse of the Pyramid Building Society and competition from the new Bay City Plaza shopping centre (now Westfield) that was built directly opposite. In 1993 the city council decided to sell the complex. Today it remains privately owned and while it adjoins the Little Malop Street Mall which was also part of the original public square, its connection with the surrounding urban environment is poor. The introverted architectural nature of Geelong’s two large retail shopping complexes has significantly altered the city’s spatial dynamic. The traditional intimate urban structure and streetscape has been fragmented. This has led to a deterioration of the city’s social cohesion, sense of place and economic prosperity. This paper chronicles the myriad errors of judgement by the institution of local government that have contributed to this situation. Heeding past mistakes, it explores ways in which the Council might work with private landowners to improve the permeability of the city’s public urban spaces and internalised retail centres for improved use, integration, functionality and resilience. Achieving a shared culture of concern for the city’s urban fabric presents some significant challenges. How might ‘big box’ shopping centres be reconsidered to make a positive contribution to the city’s urban spatial network while remaining commercially viable? The built environment has an important role to play in addressing the problem by presenting opportunities for these new urban institutions to also benefit from stronger connections between the public and private realm.
ISBN 9780646942988
Language eng
Field of Research 120103 Architectural History and Theory
Socio Economic Objective 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
Copyright notice ©2015, SAHANAZ
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30078673

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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