Hey, there’s an urbanism -v- motordom standoff going on just down the road!

Today’s review is of our local grocery shopping centres at Coorparoo in Brisbane. Alright, yes, it’s really at least partly a planning blog. For a bit of context, here are links about urbanism and motordom.

I went to do a little  shopping there this arvo. I’d been to the Coles shopping centre, which was revamped a few years ago, many times and the newer Woolworths one (inserted into a revamp of an existing building) a few times. They are diagonally opposite each other on an intersection of two local roads.



The roads are side streets off the major arterials, and carry a fair level of traffic at lowish speeds, mostly generated by these centres I’d guess.

Believe it or not, I’d never walked from one to the other until today. Now I think I know why!


Woolworths Coorparoo

This addresses the street, has a feature on the corner and an active edge, with parking on the street and above and behind the shops. It also has street trees along a wide footpath.

All in all, a pretty good refit and an outcome urbanists can be pretty pleased with.


Coles Coorparoo

Coles Coorparoo

This has a car park facing the corner, with a green edge, and believe it or not, a fence around the car park that stops pedestrians connecting directly with the Woolworths centre. To get from Coles to Woolworths, I had to walk through the carpark, where no allowance is made for pedestrians, to the road. Then along a footpath with no trees, across to the pedestrian entry in the Woolworths centre.

I know which design I prefer. If the “Woolworths” principles had been applied to both, it could have become a real pedestrian and community focal point. Instead, it’s a road intersection…

I also know which outcome I’d prefer!


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  1. ademack says:

    yep, more like this.

  2. Greste Juris says:

    It’s not for want of knowing what to do. It is making it happen that is the challenge.