Sustainable Heritage and ‘Shop-Top living’: Case Studies

Ms Katrina Hill1

1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia


A great city is vibrant and dynamic because of the people who live in it. For the city of Launceston (Tasmania) a restorative tonic can be found in a return to living ‘above the shop’ lost due to societal change and successive urban planning strategies designed to improve public health and safety outcomes. It is these spaces which have become neglected and are starting to decay through a lack of use or care. A recent project utilized case study analysis to better understand the complexity of ‘shop top living’. This included the internalities and externalities within the city have which has affected shops, shopping and living in the inner-city zone. The cases provided insight into stakeholder objectives and priorities. They also showed that giving value and purpose (for use) of these spaces increases the likely hood that they can be adapted; that they are sustainable. This study also highlights the less than desirable outcomes and experiences. In conclusion, the cases show that gathering data is not going to give you a full picture. It is necessary to listen to the stories of those living, or making it possible to live, ‘above the shop’ is important for fostering sustainable heritage.


PhD Candidate, University of Tasmania (Geography & Spatial Sciences, Planning).

Planning the revitalization of a City: the Launceston City Deal (and the University relocation to inner city spaces). Interested in adaptive reuse, shop-top living, and the complexity of heritage (built and cultural) in city based place making.


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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