Shopping Centres, Consumption and Community Sustainability

Mr Matt Bailey
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This paper looks at the emergence and proliferation of large-scale internalised shopping centres in the post-war period, offering an historical perspective to contemporary critiques of globalisation and consumption. It examines these centres in terms of the ‘artificial environment’ that they create - an inner world directly contrasted to ‘nature’ which is seen as an intrusion into the efficiencies of selling. The expansion of these public, yet privately controlled environments, has seen the deep infiltration of commerce into community life. Centre operators emphasise their attachment to communities whilst at the same time calculating how to maximise their profit from them. The paper argues that this commercialisation of local social life has profound implications for community identity and sustainability.

Keywords: Australia, Consumer, Shopping, Retail, Culture, History, Community, Sustainability
Stream: Cultural Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Shopping Centres and Sustainability

Mr Matt Bailey

Student/ Tutor, Department of Modern History
Division of Humanities, Macquarie University


Matt Bailey is studying for his PhD in modern history at Macquarie University. Matt is particularly interested in the history of consumerism and its impact on social and cultural life. His PhD thesis is examining the emergence and proliferation of shopping centres in Sydney, Australia.

Ref: S06P0256