Healthy Spaces & Places Healthy Spaces & Places

Development Types

Shopping Precincts

Shopping Street, Dubbo
Shopping Street, Dubbo
Source: SGS Economics and Planning

Shopping precincts provide essential goods and services for the community and are important places for social interaction.  Shopping precincts can range in scale from a small local centre to a regional centre.  Shopping precincts are often part of a mixed use activity centre.

Regardless of size, a range of design features in and around shopping precincts can encourage a variety of options for accessing the centre as well as supporting social interaction within the centre.  As an example of the importance of shopping precincts, they may sometimes be the closest and only source of fresh food or medical services in an area.

Consideration should be given to:

  • siting new shopping precincts where they have the best access to the community they service and are co-located with compatible uses
  • providing safe and direct access to the centre for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and vehicles
  • providing facilities within and around the centre to encourage social interaction
  • ensuring access and interaction is suitable for all members of the community especially the elderly, young people and carers with young children
  • promoting centres that have an interaction or frontage with the street so that the community can control and modify spaces to suit evolving needs and also have the potential for 24 hours access to an area, and
  • controlling the location and management of parking to ensure that the comfort and safety of pedestrians is not undermined by excessive expanses of parking areas.

Click here for more detailed information and practice advice on health and planning for Shopping Precincts.

Download Full Text
Shopping Precincts.pdf


Activity Centre Guidelines - Victoria

Heart Foundation's Healthy by Design: healthy, active communities

Design for Liveable Neighbourhoods - Activity Centres and Employment

Planning Guidelines for Walking and Cycling - 5.3 Mixed Uses and Neighbourhood Centres

Related Design Principles

Mixed Land Use



Last updated on 10th February, 2016

Sponsors This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.