News / Opinion

Dorina Pojani on the Courier Mail talking about shopping centre revitalisation

After the floods, Bellbowrie Shopping Plaza could be totally transformed. Brendan O’Malley of the Courier Mail interviewed local experts, including UQ|UP’s Dorina Pojani, to pick their brains.

Dorina said that: “Demolishing the building was not a climate-friendly option, while replacing it with housing posed more complications than adaptively reusing the building for a high school or health services.

“But it’s is an old-fashioned design which is no longer the sort of retail space people want,’’ she said.

“What they do want is something like West Village in West End.

“It has Woolworths and Harris Farm as anchors, a ton of restaurants and cafes, open green space and looks like a public space, not privately owned.’’

She said the Bellbowrie owner’s plans to raise and redesign the existing, floodprone carpark was a good idea, but had to be done carefully to ensure the ground level remained attractive.

“There are also good examples of this in West End where there are large murals, playgrounds and green spaces under (overhead) rail lines,’’ Dr Pojani said.

“It’s important to think about it creatively, but ultimately it will pay off if you give people input from the start. Whatever happens needs to be bottom-up and led by the community.’’

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