Successful centres are a complex amalgamation of context, character, structure and uses. Studio GL’s staff have had extensive experience of strengthening town centres through good planning and design. In 2008 staff members undertook cutting-edge research for a National Developer to identify the fundamentals of success for small centres and the factors needed to create centres with the right mix of services, amenities and convenience. We built upon this knowledge working at ARUP and applied this understanding to the award-winning Nowra CBD Urban Design Master Plan (2011). From our research and experiences, we have learnt that while every centre shares many key drivers, each is different and unique and the challenges facing regional and suburban locations can be as significant as those of a central city location.
In 2013, one of Studio GL’s first projects was the award-winning Five Dock Town Centre Urban Design Study. Since then we have deepened this understanding of town centres in both regional and urban locations through numerous projects, research and conference papers, and various professional roles. We have applied our extensive knowledge to four Town Centre Masterplans in the Upper Hunter of NSW (2015), the Kiama Town Centre (2017) and the St Ives Town Centre Built Form Study (2018). Through our involvement in all these projects we have found that the signs of a successful centre remain constant. These lively attractive places are integrated and connected, vibrant well into the evening, diverse, comfortable to use, accessible for all, economically viable and memorable and unique.