A University of Tasmania lecturer researching urban design issues in regional Australia says Launceston's CBD is comparatively well placed to handle downturns in retail because of its geography, heritage streetscapes and lack of competing nearby shopping centres.
Helen Norrie is the co-ordinator of the Regional Urban Studies Laboratory, engaging with councils and communities to examine issues in small towns and cities.
Bottom floor vacancy rates in central Launceston sit at 9 per cent, and at 20 per cent in Quadrant Mall - lower than most similar population centres.
Ms Norrie said revitalising Launceston was "less challenging" than other regional Australian cities for a range of reasons.
More on revitalising the Launceston CBD:
"The best thing about Tasmania is that the 1980s largely never happened, like in the rest of Australia, where buildings were knocked down and replaced with not very good building stock," she said.
"We're lucky to have a lot of beautiful buildings. The city's assets are not just things like the mall and Quadrant Mall, but the streetscapes and parks and gardens.
"The city centre is beautiful, and by and large it is still quite intact."
The City of Launceston council has commissioned multiple reports in the last 10 years to shape its vision for the city, including the Gehl Report, which flowed into the City Heart Project and Greater Launceston Plan.
They resulted in the Brisbane Street Mall redevelopment and upcoming St John Street revitalisation. The relocation of UTAS to Inveresk is also likely to result in works to Invermay and its surrounds.
Ms Norrie said concerns about the number of reports were unfounded, as reshaping a city took time and involved a lot of steps.
"Cities are dynamic things. They are a physical space, but they are also a social, commercial and economic space," she said.
"Everyone is panicking that retail is closing down, but another way to look at it is that while retail as we know it might be pulling back, it is being replaced by other kinds of economic elements.
"It would be interesting to do a count of the number of new cafes that are opening up - that's also a signifier of how well things are doing."
A forum this week was told the council was considering trialling 90 minutes of free parking at multi-storey buildings in Launceston, following the scheme in Hobart.
The free 90-minute car parks in Hobart's three multi-storeys were used over one million times in 2018, a City of Hobart spokesperson said.
He said it was difficult to say if the parking scheme had improved business in central Hobart, but their vacancy rates were low.
The spokesperson said it had caused some congestion problems with cars lining up to enter the buildings.