The published article is also available on the BayBuzz website.
“Our town centres are the heart of our communities. Our CBDs are social history mirrors and their change and vibrancy tell a tale.
“CBDs, like shopping centres, require format and design adjustments to remain current, relevant and successful. Competitive pressures are significant, and when it comes to town places, people generally vote with their feet, and businesses follow. For town centres, it is either a downward spiral or a self-perpetuating upward cycle.
“The mall and fountain with the railway create an east-west wall that solidly partitions the heart of Hastings – for three decades. The rail-crossing and mall, and possibly Railway Road, should be re-opened to one-way car traffic through to Market Street. This format could be adopted for the main block with replacement off-street parking very nearby.
“The most significant change for central Napier is the escalation of national and Australasian retail brands from one-third to just over a half. Shop numbers overall are almost unchanged …”