Continued Inspiration to Develop a 21st Century Manukau
After the Developing a 21st Century Auckland and Manukau Presentation to the Auckland Development Committee last Thursday in which some successful outcomes. You can see those results in the “Developing a 21st Century Auckland Presentation – The Results.”
Soon after the presentation I saw this Tweet come up from Toderian Urban Works:
The Tweet leads to here:
Oliver Lam | OCT 7, 2013
Mall developers embrace open-concept main streets and villages in search of contemporary urbanism
The landscape of shopping malls is changing and the driving force is a push to move retail destinations from enclosed environments to vibrant urban neighbourhoods.
“Metro Vancouver is known as one of the bright lights in this movement to re-urbanize old shopping malls,” says Brent Toderian, president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism. “And part of that re-urbanization is turning them from enclosed to outside walking streets that seem to replicate the environment, lifestyle and qualities of traditional main streets.”
It’s ironic that West Vancouver’s Park Royal Shopping Centre is a pioneer in this new wave of outdoor shopping spaces, with the 2004 opening of The Village at Park Royal. The North Shore shopping centre originally opened in 1950 and became one of Canada’s first covered malls with the addition of a roof in 1962.
As seen above what was to be Canada’s first covered mall is now looking back to more the older style open malls and attempts to invigorate their facilities with what is known as “Main Street” retail experiences. Basically replicating the old Main Street strips you see in our older town centres (minus the sea of cars bit) back into large shopping malls with a focus to refresh the focal point of malls back into bustling mixed use urban centres.
Continuing from the blog post:
An expansion of the mall’s south building, The Village is an outdoor retail space with wide sidewalks, storefront parking and public gathering areas. Amantea dubs the design a success, noting that it has expanded the customer base beyond shoppers typically drawn to indoor malls.
The Village also caught the eye of the City of Surrey, which Amantea reports sent observers to Park Royal. Larco Investments Ltd., the real estate conglomerate that owns Park Royal, also expressed an interest, and as Amantea explains, “When we were able to find the right piece of dirt to do it on, we conceived the plan for Morgan Crossing.” The Larco-developed Shops at Morgan Crossing opened in South Surrey in 2010.
Toderian notes that replicating the feel of a village requires more than just outdoor space. “For malls to truly urbanize, it isn’t just about taking the fake main street and putting it outside,” he says. “It’s about true urbanism, which is about housing, transit and the public realm.”
What is being seen in wider Vancouver is that after Park Royal began this urban renewal drive on its mall facility, over malls in Vancouver (whether existing or planned) are beginning to follow this concept of mixed urban typology as well. I believe a visit to Vancouver might be in order here to see this invigoration first hand. Sure I have drawn up the first concept and 3D mock ups for Manukau City Centre (a (super) metropolitan centre under the Unitary Plan) and this was based on Brentwood Town Centre in Vancouver, but a site visit would help see what is happening over there in more realistic terms.
Rounding out the emergence of outdoor shopping malls in Vancouver’s Cambie corridor is the proposed redevelopment plan for Oakridge Centre. Building owner Ivanhoé Cambridge and residential development partner Westbank Projects Corp. are awaiting final approval from the City of Vancouver. Their vision for the over 50-year-old mall is a grand one. Going from an indoor mall to a transit-oriented neighbourhood, the new Oakridge Centre would offer everything from outdoor shopping options and new parks to housing, office space and a variety of civic amenities—a true mixed-use community.
As the trend that started in the ’burbs finds traction near the urban centre, it’s clear that the move toward live/work/shop developments will only intensify
And this is what I am trying to achieve with Manukau City Centre and wider Manukau (stitching up the commercial city centre with the residential suburb in the south and the Wiri industrial centre to the west). Renewing and reinvigorating a 1960’s designed and built auto-dependent shopping centre with a sprinkle of some “other stuff” into a 21st century Maori and Pasifika “designed” Super Metropolitan Centre that is a mix of: commercial retail, office and hospitality, residential, civic/community, open spaces (green spaces and plazas (Spanish term of open spaces), education, entertainment, and transit facilities.
If I was Westfield (who own the mall but the Council owns the car parks and most likely the land) and the Built Environment Unit (home of the main urban designers) of Auckland Council, I would start at the Super Metropolitan Town Centre block and take it from there.
The idea is that the surface parking is placed underground with the town centre placed over the top and linked by shared spaces, road crossings and access thoroughfares. The entire area though would be based on Maori and Pasifika designs blended in with perhaps North American designs as well (Best of Both Worlds). The “main street” (there are no cars on it) could represent say the Waikato River while the centre point maybe a known lake. The buildings and the street art/accessories are based on indigenous, Pasifika and North American designs.
Once the place has been built up and established then we move on to large open space area that would be over the top of the car park in front of the Countdown main entrance. After that to the office complex in the corner before undertaking the mixed use area to the north-east of the mall.
So much inspiration for Manukau and later Albany. Just got to get the ball rolling – which it is with the pending site visit from the Council, and the Workshop/Committee to formulate and hopefully oversee the Manukau redevelopment.
More inspiration renewing Manukau:
MK3 Mock Up of My Alternative for Lot 59 – the Manukau Interchange
Developing a 21st Century Manukau: Slowly but surely under way