Sustainable Retail Spaces: Establishing the Profile of a "Green Population"

By Anthony Philip Williams, Michael J. Ostwald, Graham John Brewer and Raichel Le Goff.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 3, 2014 $US5.00

This paper surfaces and describes the “green” population—those who, by their attitudes and/or personal behaviours, align with a sustainable social agenda. It reveals their expectations in relation to sustainable retail environments. The literature is used to identify dimensions that influence individual attitudes and consequent behaviours, in relation to environmental issues, particularly in relation to home and retail environments. These are then used to inform the conduct of eight focus groups of consumers in two tightly defined geographical areas, containing a mix of retail centre types, which are subsequently subjected to telephone surveys. Each investigation is analysed using appropriate qualitative or quantitative techniques and the results thereafter triangulated. It was found that the concept of the “green” shopper is an oversimplification, with various shades of green existing. These variations arise as a consequence of age, gender, household income, occupation, and level of education and are reflected in personal attitudes and beliefs, as well as behaviours at home and expectations of sustainable retail spaces. The designs for environmentally sustainable retail spaces are only economically sustainable if they are socially acceptable. Understanding the individual nature of the ‘green’ shopper, and the size of the ‘green’ shopper population, is central to decision-making in this regard. This research is believed to be the first critical analysis of what constitutes the ‘green’ population in terms of retail environments.

Keywords: Green, Retail Environment, Attitudes, Expectations, Sustainability

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and Extraurban Studies, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.77-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 3, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 269.084KB)).

Prof. Anthony Philip Williams

Head of Faculty, School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Tony is currently the head of faculty of the School of Architecture and Built Environment. He is a winner of multiple University Teaching Awards as well as a National Award for Teaching Excellence. Tony has worked extensively in curriculum design and implementation both at program and course levels and is highly regarded in this area, having worked as a curriculum consultant both nationally and internationally. Tony’s research is in the field of design methodology. He is widely published in the field of design and engineering education, with over 100 publications in these professional education fields.

Prof. Michael J. Ostwald

Dean, School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Professor Michael J. Ostwald is dean of architecture at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and a visiting professor at RMIT University (Melbourne). He has a PhD in architectural history and theory and a higher doctorate (DSc) in the mathematics of design. He has lectured in Asia, Europe, and North America and has written and published extensively on the relationship between architecture, philosophy, and mathematics. Michael Ostwald is a member of the editorial boards and scientific committees of the Nexus Network Journal, Architectural Theory Review, Architectural Science Review, and Architecture Research.

Assoc. Prof. Graham John Brewer

Head of the Building Discipline, School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Graham is the head of the building discipline at the University of Newcastle in Australia, where he has input into the construction management, architecture, and education (design and technology) programmes. His research interests include ICT (benchmarking, critical success factors were used in project teams, innovation and attitude), urban sustainability (ageing in place/residential aged care, design for disassembly, urban design and health), and teaching and learning (problem-based learning, metacognitive development and reflective practice, learning contracts, education, and sustainability). He has written six books dealing with the challenges associated with the use of ICT in project teams operating in the built environment. I have received two teaching awards (one national), and has recently been awarded a PhD in the field of innovation adoption.

Dr. Raichel Le Goff

Research Associate, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia