Ecology vs Economy

These Defects Make a Place Unique, But That's The Wrong Type Of Unique

Why are these lovers standing here?

They're stranded here.  The rain caught us all.

Once upon a time, the next building along was like its brothers and sisters on this street: Victorian architecture with an 'Australian-style' awning, as Jan Gehl puts it.

But it was demolished and replaced with something else.  Without an awning.

Now there is no contiguous pedestrian network.  This effectively strands us, which can sometimes be lovely and cosy, but really means that your precinct is less desirable for customers and new businesses.  It's 'functionality' is impaired.

Understandably, these 'so-called defects' also make a place unique.  But that's the wrong type of unique.

We want the 'unique' that's created by independent retailers and place management solutions which are locally distinct.

Heavy rainfall is a permanent deterrant for many who have alternative locations to consider.  These can be other streets in your district, other districts, or (no!) indoor shopping centres.

We limit our strolling distance because of these impediments.  This directly affects the quality of your community because businesses and economies are out of reach of people.

Profitable hours of operation are diminished per year, as is foot traffic.

A safe, comfortable and interesting pedestrian network is necessary.

Above: The Record Finder, 87 High Street West End, Fremantle, Australia

Ecology vs Economy #6

Above: Jolie & Deen, 411 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Australia.

Managing our communities and economies should be led by the most immutable force: the ecology of our region.  We can't always design out of it, and customers are instinctively led by its power.

Understanding the power of our ecology drives efficiencies in our community and economic planning.  Ecology has much to offer us in terms of making the local business precinct safe, comfortable and interesting.

An example of how business income is positively tied to uncontrollable ecological factors is here.

Ecology versus the economy again?

Here is another gem from Hawaiian Property Management and the Claremont Quarter.  On the Gugeri Street frontage, action is a little low.  Build the shopfronts anyway because they may be needed later, I say.

You can still have your garden in the meantime.  Smart.

Claremont Quarter, Gugeri Street frontage, Claremont Australia


A Beautiful Piece Of Design

Thank you Saffi Belle.

It's important to recognise that not only is this a beautiful piece of design but it also:

  • Functions as a piece of ecological sustainability (paper versus plastic).
  • Promotes the business as shoppers walk away with it.
  • Makes the place look good (so many retailers still give supermarket bags to customers!)

Saffi Belle, 28 Market Street, Fremantle, Australia

The real green wall

Little did DFK know, but sitting next door to their 'goblin' green wall was Mariela Zingoni, PhD candidate at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP) taking a break in, er, Breaks.

Mariela and her team are involved in the (leafy) green wall projects you will probably see around the city one day soon.  Won't we Mariela?

Mariela in Breaks Cafe, 85 High Street, Fremantle, Australia

Why is no one sitting at this cafe?

This post brings to your attention the value of environmental design in retail.  It clearly shows the cafe on the left is busier than the one on the right - which has no one sitting at its tables.

At the time of the photo - 8.10am - the weather was crisp and cool ... 

Because the cafe on the left faces north (we are in the southern hemisphere) it enjoys more hours of comfortable seating than the one on the right, which faces south and is yet to receive any warming rays.

This is critical at those times of the year where direct sunlight is necessary to add a few degrees of warmth to your table.  Cafes with this enjoy hours of advantage over their neighbours.