Design Research of Civic-Commercial Space: Reshaping Commercial Space of Melbourne Southern Cross Railway Station

Siyu Chen, Yixuan Cao, Yuxuan Han, David Mah, Leire Asensio Villoria

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The correlation between consumerism and public space has been widely discussed in recent years. The existing civic spaces, which are entirely open to the public, have become limited resources due to the encroachment of retail spaces. As shopping has become the last remaining form of public activity, shopping malls have gradually become the primary carriers of commercial and social activities. Meanwhile, this shift has been exacerbated by the decline of traditional commercial districts in city centres due to the wide use of the internet and e-commerce. Consequently, semi-public and semi-commercial spaces, known as privately owned public space, have been optimized to support citizens’ leisure and social activities. However, these spaces have received limited scholarly attention. This design research aims to explore a prototype of the mutualistic symbiosis of civic and commercial spaces that can facilitate urban regeneration. Based on a systematic review of case studies of well-designed commercial spaces with civic features, design strategies are summarized into an urban regeneration toolkit. Then an urban regeneration proposal of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station Shopping Centre will be used to test the toolkit and to further revise the prototype. In this proposal, commercial space serves not only as an economic driver that promotes consumption but also as a civic open space where private and public interests interweave, achieving a win-win situation for both sectors. The design outcome intends to reflect a fact that a sustainable urban space should be able to accommodate a variety of civic activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralia and China Perspectives on Urban Regeneration and Rural Revitalization
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781040024430
ISBN (Print)9781032538945
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


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