The economic vitality of all town centers is highly dependent upon an ability to attract customers. With the popularization of the car in Australia, the travel decisions of shoppers impacted local centers in two significant ways—more demand for car parking space and reduced dependence on local shopping destinations. A review of historical newspaper coverage about three local centers in an inner city area of Sydney provides insight into how a neighborhood adapts to such change. Marrickville, Dulwich Hill, and Newtown all wanted to change the town center urban form to remain attractive and competitive to customers but they each faced different barriers and pressures. Change was slow. Trade-offs were required. Mistakes were made, expectations changed, and new problems emerged. The neighborhood, in short, adapted.
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