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The need for diversity of uses in suburban neighbourhood centres
journal contributionposted on 2018-05-01, 00:00 authored by Leila Mahmoudi Farahani, D Beynon, C Garduno Freeman
© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Ltd Neighbourhood centres are places of interactions for residents of a neighbourhood. The diversity of uses and building functions may affect the pattern of interactions occurring in neighbourhood centres. In spite of the advantages of mixed land use developments, which have been repeatedly mentioned in the planning literature, few studies have investigated the effect of diversity of uses on the patterns of activity and vitality in neighbourhood centres. This paper utilises a qualitative approach to the study of land uses in suburban neighbourhood centres in Geelong, Australia. The primary methodology used in this research is recording and mapping users’ activities through behavioural observation. This study aims to evaluate the complexities of the pattern of activities occurring in neighbourhood centres in regard to building functions and uses. The method of inquiry in this research investigates how the arrangements and diversity of uses in neighbourhood centres can promote, affect or mitigate the social life of neighbourhoods, generate a sociable atmosphere, attract a diversity of users and create a nightlife. A better understanding of how neighbourhood environments influence the social life of neighbourhoods can provide academics and professionals in planning and urban design with sound evidence on which to base future research and design.