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approvals for larger budget developments. “At the moment, the Perth
metropolitan areas are very dispersed, very low-density on average,” he says.
“We’ve recognised as a State that we do need to make much better use of
the infrastructure that’s there, to make better use of public transport and
major road transport routes, in particular, and that will lead to greater
“The main benefit of density is, of course, that it does lead to a greater
critical mass of people and more opportunities for commercial development
– restaurants, cafes, entertainment facilities and so on – so a lot more
interesting places for people to live.”
This is where he says projects such as City Link, the Waterfront and the
redevelopment of the East Perth Riverside precinct come into play (see p40).
“We need to provide a lot more accommodation for an ageing population
and for single households, with good public spaces around them,” he says.
“Several of the big projects around town have been on the cards for many
years – in the case of City Link for almost 100 years.
“High-density residential developments in appropriate places lead
to better use of resources, greater critical mass and more vibrant areas,
and that’s what we’re hoping to achieve.”
It’s a realisation that Marion Fredrikkson – director of planning and design
for Urbis, the consultants for the new design of Langley Park (city foreshore)
– s ays has already started to sink in with Perth’s residents.
“A really exciting shift is going on in WA,” she says. “And I think it’s
around a feeling of authenticity about what we do here – and not trying to be
European, and not trying to be Asian – it’s something that’s quintessentially
West Australian. In many of the projects we’re working on, there’s a real
change in the design of housing – people are starting to think about smaller
houses, rather than having huge gardens. They’re focusing on having
community and having good public infrastructure and that really changes the
whole way we start to look at design,” she says.
“It means that planners and engineers don’t control the design of new
places - it comes down to landscape architects and to people who do social
planning and whose strength is all around what matters to people – and
that’s a huge shift from where we have been coming from.”
Discounting comparisons people have tried to draw between Perth’s
burgeoning economy and resource-rich cities in the Middle East, Marion says
that while there’s much of the same wealth and business being created in
WA, the charm, unique climate and lifestyle of Perth is what sets it apart
– and, ironically, it is what has slowed its development down.
“I think people are starting to realise that you have to put money into great
projects to get great results,” she says. “Part of that is having the balls to
actually just stand up and have a view about what you think is right, and I
think we are right on the cusp of that at the moment.” c
“They’re focusing on having community and good public
infrastructure, and that changes the way we start to look at
design. It means that planners and engineers don’t control the
design of new places – it comes down to landscape architects
and to people who do social planning and whose strength is all
around what matters to people – and that’s a huge shift from
where we’ve been coming from”- COMMITTEE FOR PERTH’S MARION FULKER
Concept drawings of a remodelling
of Perth’s Old Treasury Buildings.
The revamp will include the creation
of a luxury hotel.
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17/1/11 4:44:58 PM
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