• main street decline;
  • viability;
  • vitality;
  • retail definitions;
  • retail impact assessment


The deregulation of shopping hours has created a fluid environment where time-poor, affluent and mobile households can access shopping opportunities away from traditional retail precincts. The consequence has been the substantial decline of the viability and vitality of many main streets in eastern Australia. This greater temporal fluidity, however, requires stronger land use regulations if traditional town or suburb main streets are to maintain economic viability and social vitality. A suite of simple definitions of retail form are suggested and a number of assessment guidelines are proposed as meeting the requirements for more robust retail development assessment, including considerations of the geography of localities, place and the built form environment.