Melbourne City Centre

If You Don't Want To Die, Build Tall Shops

This is Babushkas Russian and Eastern European Gifts and Jewellery, in the Royal Arcade in Melbourne.

The arcade is 10.97m high (36'). That's tall.

You can see that the arcade is bright and beautiful and people have a really good time there.  Do you think the arcade will be fully leased and looking beautiful if it was a tightly ceilinged, 2.70m-high hovel?  No.

If it wasn't for the arcade's height and beautiful design - that's all surfaces, floors, walls, ceilings and all inbetween, then it would have more vacancies and more hoodies spitting on the floor. Then the shopping centre would be abandoned. Then the owner would keep it boarded up for 15 years whilst he saved his money and worked out what to do. By then the hoodies would have grown up and be running rent-free businesses in the arcade breaking people's legs. Then the owner will abandon it. Then it will fall down, causing derilication in the street. Then no businesses will want to open in the neighbourhood. Then other landlords in the street will avoid their maintenance - why shouldn't they?  Then existing businesses will get fed up and eventually leave.  Then the city will become deserted, allowing blight, crime and disease to thrive. Then we will all die.

There. So, if you don't want to die, build tall shops.

Below: Babushkas: 3.40m (11'2") tall to the top of the window frameBelow: Royal Arcade, 10.97m high (36')

City planners caught stealing secrets from shopping centres

There's an elephant in the room.

It's the absence of data on how many people are using our city centres.

Every city wants more foot traffic in their commercial districts.

So I have stolen secrets shopping centres have been using for years - secrets used to steal business (and businesses) away from city centres.

And I'm pleased to launch a service to cities which uses secret technology so they can steal them back.

Just like shopping centres have always done, cities can now measure foot traffic with accurate and discrete people counting technology.

Now cities can really focus their efforts to attract shoppers and businesses.  And make their cities vibrant quicker.

That's why I'm launching the world's best people counting service with the below video.

Thank you.

Filmed on location in Fremantle, Australia - Melbourne, Australia and Kuala Lumpur.

Music pinched from Bridget Jones' Diary - 'It's Only A Diary'.