Home' Commercial : Commercial 2014 Contents SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 77
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storage of renewable energy, is almost there but
we really need to start investing in it now. I see
Fremantle showing leadership in this area.
In order to raise the bar for design excellence
in Fremantle, we have a design advisory
committee, which is an independent panel of
design experts. Unless a project meets certain
design quality thresholds it doesn’t get through.
We’re still feeling our way but the recent buildings
approved for the Spicer and Queensgate sites
are quite stunning. The city is looking at
mandating that any major project of three storeys
and above must be designed by a registered
architect. Using architects in combination with
the design advisory committee gives us the best
chance of design excellence.
Many people in the Fremantle community are
nervous about new development. It’s the challenge
of the council to show them we can do density
and development a whole lot better than was done
in the 1960s and 70s. As said by a friend of mine
in the book Boomtown 2050, ‘Everyone in Perth
has a density hangover’. Because we did density
so badly in the 60s and 70s, we’ve got the great
challenge of showing how the next generation of
density can not only be great for affordability and
diversity, but can also be beautiful.
What Fremantle definitely doesn’t need is a whole
lot of mock heritage – new buildings pretending to
be old. We need to be confident and proud enough
in our future to say, ‘Let’s create a new design
language for the 21st century’. Bold, innovative
green buildings. They won’t look like the West
End, and nor should they. We only cheapen the
West End by trying to copy it.
Liquor licensing is heading in the right direction
but it hasn’t gone far enough. There are still so
many arbitrary rules that are taking away the
innovation around some of the micro bars we want
to see – be it rules about how many toilets you
have to provide or even when you can’t stand up
with a drink in your hand. We need to take
a series of incremental steps to be heading
towards a more adult, European drinking culture.
Liquor licensing has the capacity to take a much
more flexible approach, especially when there’s
a supportive council that wants to see innovation.
We’ve reduced red tape, in that change of use
of a business premises in the Fremantle CBD is
The City of Fremantle is currently 30,000 people,
becoming 75,000 with the expanded boundaries,
and we expect another 20,000 people by 2040. The
CBD is currently less than 1000 and the aim is to
quadruple that within a decade. We need at least
4000 to 5000 people living in the city centre to
give a seven-day-a -week, day/night economy.
A populated city is also a safer city.
By 2040, Perth should have an urban growth
boundary. We can’t keep sprawling from Dongara
to Dunsborough, and we need to protect our
agricultural and biodiversity-rich bushland. This
makes the extra people and density in Fremantle
all the more important. For every new dwelling we
create in Fremantle, that is one less that is required
on the sprawling suburban fringe.
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