I was leaked a draft of the City of Fremantle’s new masterplan for the Esplanade Reserve. Although the report says that it comes out of the Visioning 2029 community project and is part of the futuristic Transformational Moves plans, I believe it will leave a lot of Freo people very unhappy if implemented.
The stand out new idea is to make an “Arborium” out of the Esplanade by putting a large dome over the entire reserve. The dome will have climate control and a rain-like reticulation system to create an inner city ecosystem.
A large variety of native plant species will be introduced to the reserve and an attempt made to breed the endangered numbat under controlled conditions. The Arborium will also act as an aviary and many birds will find a new home there.
The Esplanade Youth Plaza skatepark will be incorporated to make it an all-weather youth destination, while coloured motion-triggered lights will allow for night enjoyment of the park. New paths, seating, shade structures and art and water features will be installed, as well as a big screen for music videos and live sport telecasts.
The City aims to make the Esplanade a new big tourist attraction that will link the CBD with the Fishing Boat Harbour. Latest technology will see driverless GPS-guided small vehicles taking visitors on tours of the Arborium
The down side of this green-ideology-inspired idea is that the Ferris Wheel and many of the, too tall for the dome, Norfolk pines will have to be removed, and so will the Carriage Café.
The officers recommend that the Carriage will be rebuilt and the Tourist Wheel relocated to the planned extension of the Esplanade once Norfolk Street has been extended through to Mews Road, and the Italian Club and parking lot have been made into a green open space that will create a larger Esplanade park.
Under the new masterplan the City wants festivals to be held at Fremantle Oval instead of the Esplanade, once the Dockers have moved on to Cockburn, and also more often utilise Fremantle Park for events and festivals.
I am all for new, big and creative ideas but I am not at all sure why we need a 20-metre-high dome structure over our major inner city park. It sounds a bit gimmicky to me and it would cost a lot of money to put up and maintain.
There are a few pie in the sky ideas on the City of Fremantle’s transformational moves wish list and this one can be added to it as a highly unrealistic one.