Does variety kill or help Lygon Street?
I am here to spark a debate:
Lygon Street has long been known as the famous Italian precinct of Melbourne.
The Melbourne City Council actually have a specific local planning provisions addressing the Lygon Street Shopping precinct (as in keeping development and use inline with its Italian character).
However, if you are familiar enough with the area, you can notice that more and more of the new shops/places/restaurants are not of Italian characters at all. For example, FCUK (Foreign Chain Store), Lygon Court (Arcade style instead of having shop frontage immediately to the street, essentially an American influenced/suburbanised.), and exotic restaurants instead of Italian e.g. Thai restaurants starting to proliferate near the city-end of Lygon Street.
While someone can argue that these different uses and developments bring more different kind of people to the area, one could also argue that these new uses and developments fundamentally conflict with the Italian character of the precinct.
So which house do you belong to – ‘kills the Italian character’ or ‘variety helps to bring more people in the area’?