Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 126 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
Setting the bar | World’s best
How to perpetuate Western Australia’s favourable
economic situation? That’s the big question on
everyone’s lips, and while opinions vary on issues
ranging from transport to public artworks, they
align on a common objective: creating a city that
is a destination in itself.
“It’s about using resource opportunities
to diversify our economy [and] develop new
industries,” said LandCorp CEO Ross Holt in an
interview with Scoop. “How do we attract the
smartest and brightest people? How do we cater
for locals and visitors? It’s not about developments,
it’s about experiences – but developments are the
vehicle to deliver those experiences.”
Infrastructure provides the nuts and bolts
for something harder to construct: the palpable
energy of a city where architecture, urban
design and public transport work together
seamlessly. It lays the foundation for thriving
retail, hospitality and creative scenes and, by
extension, the kind of incidental encounters (like
stumbling across a new art gallery or cafe) which
can define a city. People often talk about this in
elusive terms like ‘buzz’ or ‘soul’.
San Francisco is renowned for it. One of the
world’s leading tourism destinations, it received
16 million visitors in 2011, with 75 per cent visiting
for holiday or leisure. The number-one attraction?
‘Atmosphere and ambience’, according to a recent
report by the San Francisco Travel Association.
Compare this to Perth, with 36.5 per cent
of 750,000 international visitors in 2012 coming
for holiday or leisure, and 42.5 per cent of
interstate visitors coming for business. There
can be no mistaking the current bottom-line
status of our state capital.
And yet, it’s not so different to San Francisco.
“The two cities share an entrepreneurial history
in mining, are situated near the ocean, and have
an intimate feel,” remarked the American artistic
director of WA Opera, Joseph Colaneri, on moving
to Perth last year. “Not to mention their proximity
to wonderful wine-producing regions.”
San Francisco is geared for excitement. There
are 42 Michelin-starred restaurants, 66 museums,
The Golden Gate Bridge.
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