Home' Commercial : Commercial 2014 Contents 138 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design
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Perth has many fine qualities and an enviable
lifestyle. However, one of its most basic features
– its ease of access to where we live, work and
play – is in danger of being lost as the increasing
population causes traffic congestion and extended
No vision for a city ever includes spending
more time commuting between key facilities.
Until 2000, Perth was an easy place to get around.
However, with 1500 new people arriving in Perth
each week (in addition to population increase
due to our natural growth), we need to solve the
traffic problems created by this growth if we are
to maintain the free-and-easy lifestyle we have
enjoyed until now.
All the best cities in the world have a mixture of
transport systems, including metro rail, light rail,
buses, ferries, cars, bikes and good public spaces,
which encourage pedestrians to walk.
With Perth’s population set to grow by more
than three million people in the next 20 years,
a 48 per cent increase in dwellings will be required
to accommodate this growth. How can this be
achieved? Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is
part of the solution. These pedestrian-friendly and
safe hubs are clustered around within easy walking
distance of a transit station, and contain residential,
retail and commercial uses at higher levels.
The Rosslyn-Ballston solution in Washington
has emerged over 30 years, and has increased the
densities in a 400m radius around the transit stops
while leaving existing residential areas undisturbed.
It has satisfied the need for the inner city areas
of Washington to accept greater residential and
employment densities. However, it provided the
added benefit of increasing housing choice, which
has allowed people to remain in the same area as
their family dynamics changed.
Not only do TODs reduce dependence on
cars, they also provide employment opportunities
in close proximity to residential areas. They
reduce peak-hour loads to and from the CBD,
with employment, retail and recreation
opportunities along the public transit route.
Increased residential densities provide the
opportunity for a greater house mix and choice
for different family life-cycles, which leads to
a greater personal investment and long-term
commitment to the community.
Living near good public transport can reduce
the proportion of household income spent on
travel. Transport needs to be factored into the
housing bundle, where the combined cost of place
and transport defines the real cost of living.
Perth needs to learn from communities such
as Rosslyn-Ballston if it is to envision a future not
tainted by ever-increasing congestion.
TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT, WASHINGTON
Warren Kerr, Hames Sharley
Washington’s TOD sets a standard Perth can emulate.
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