Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents 26 WA's Best Commercial Designs 2010
Buildings which encourage people to move
and interact on their feet, rather than in the
social death chamber of the lift, not only save
power bills but reduce blood pressure.
Our cities and towns need to take the same
health check. Life was easy when a township
sprung up at the crossing of a donkey trail and
stream. e gentle accretion of buildings and spaces
occurred at a pace that responded to the natural
forces of human movement and interaction.
e streets and spaces served a primary human
purpose first and foremost. e gregarious nature
of people was fundamental in the very seeds of
cities and towns.
Our cities now face very different pressures
where the demands for transported movement
often dominate the spaces at the expense of the
And yet cities have remained extremely resilient
concepts. One of humankind's most extraordinary
interventions on our planet has been the creation
of the city. Cities have remained extremely robust
entities and have sustained their relevance despite
enormous threat and increasing vulnerability.
While only 10 percent of the world's population
was in cities at the beginning of the last century,
that figure is predicted to rise to 75 percent by 2050.
Historically, cities were forged around
intra-connection within their own bubble, but
increasingly over the previous century, a flurry
of planet connectors emerged which have bound
and shaped many of the high connectivity cities
around the globe.
Some of these connectors are extraordinarily
potent, some almost invisible: the 20th Century
threads of finance, trading, marketing and
In looking at Perth as a city, we need to look
into the mirror at these traditional connectors
of the last century and understand that we are not
-- and never will be -- a large part of that network.
Our relationship to the world and to our own
identity will be through the new connectors of
While the traditional city connectors of the
last century have produced a network of quite
durable and vital cities, this is not a network
that we, as West Australians, are fundamental
to or indeed need to compete with. ere are
fascinating new connectors emerging -- linkages
which sit more in harmony with the spirit of WA.
ey are intrinsically more abstract and more
e tripartite of culture, ecology and creativity
have become potent planet connectors and
constitute ingredients that are more at one
Our coastal tapestry is a big part of what we
are. It permeates our history and identity -- the
land has provided us with wealth and economic
strength, the ocean with our connections.
e juxtaposition of the two has shaped us.
It has forged an ecology, a culture, a creativity
that is fundamental to our identity and
fundamental to how we should connect to our
planet. If we stay close to our spirit and identity,
and choose to create our city in that light, imagine
where might it lead us?
In many ways, the Indian Ocean is our true
centroid. It connects our world and our place
in it. e WA spirit is very much embedded in
our edge to the Indian.
We sit perched on the edge, along the meeting
of sand and water that has defined us as a people.
It is a compelling place of natural gravitation
for us; an endless and pervasive coastline to
which we are spontaneously attached.
It is an extraordinary embrace of land and sea,
and it forges a place, which is fundamentally
central to our character.
It is an intricate coastal edge -- one of changing
Artist impression of The Link - Wellington Street view looking west from Queen Street.
Image courtesy of EPRA
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