A property expert has welcomed the adoption of urban design framework by Wollongong City Council to make the city more people-friendly and sustainable, but believed creating zoned precincts would not be best for business.
The CBD would say goodbye to bulky skyscrapers under the Wollongong City Centre Urban Design Framework (UDF), as well as move away from "shop-top" apartments, the creation of new commercial-only zones, and hold developers to higher design standards.
"Simply zoning something commercial is not going to make Google or Microsoft come to Wollongong," said Colliers International Wollongong managing director Simon Kersten.
"Another concern is many property owners ... bought their land based on what they thought they can do with it. When you take away the ability to put residential on it, some of those people may lose a lot of money."
Mr Kersten is also on the local committee of the Urban Development Institute of Australia and has met with council previously to discuss how to make their visions a reality.
He said the UDF had incorporated some compromises, but he was "not a huge believer in dictating land use" in a CBD as it couldn't adapt with change in society.
"Council should plan a precinct with set heights and set building forms and let the market determine what should be there because people change and desires change," Mr Kersten said.
"If someone wants to put a hotel or a residential building in a business precinct then usually they're a pretty good thing for a city.
"In the example of Canberra, there were big chunks of the city that were at night-time wastelands for years, and now they've put residential development amongst that and it's enlivening the city."
The UDF would also see a ban on new residential high-rise along Burelli Street, ground-floor apartments elsewhere instead of empty shops, a focus on commercial space but not retail, and a bigger focus on walking and cycling to hinder the use of cars.
Years of research and community consultation have gone into the framework, which will be used to prepare the City Centre Planning Strategy and detailed policy recommendations for how the future of Wollongong will look.