Out of the Greyzone: Exploring Greyfield Design and Redevelopment
Community shopping centres in many North American suburban areas have been in decline for two decades. Failed community shopping centres, termed 'greyfields', have resulted in large parcels of unused lands in core urban areas, forcing residents to travel longer distances to regional malls. The decline of community shopping centres may have a number of causes, but for this study it was hypothesized that successful community shopping centres share a number of design qualities that unsuccessful shopping centres do not have. A design framework was developed based on retail design and planning literature. The framework was applied to assess an existing redevelopment, the Shops at Don Mills in Toronto. The assessment findings derived from site observations and key informant interviews resulted in a revised design framework. The final framework provides a guide to those interested in transforming commercial greyfields into vibrant components of our urban communities.