Freo's View

HOW TO LEGISLATE FOR BETTER CITIES?

 

 

What can a small city like Fremantle of just over 30,000 residents learn from a mega city like Singapore with over 5 million people? It was a question Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt asked when he went on a study tour with the South West Group and the Mayors of Melville, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Kwinana and Rockingham.

Yesterday at the monthly Fremantle Network event at the National Hotel the Mayor shared his thoughts and some photos, and it was a thought provoking presentation.

Brad Pettitt said that city greening was the extraordinary success of Singapore, as developers were required to create large green spaces on and around new buildings, but there is also a greening of highways, rooftops, walkways and gardens, and road corridors of trees that make large parts of the huge city look delightfully green. That is certainly a lesson we can learn from in Fremantle and in Western Australia, as European countries also do that much better and more intense than we do over here.

The largest vertical garden in the world is also in Singapore, comprising of 57,000 pot plants!

How we can legislate for it is altogether the question though. It probably needs to be done at state level, but there is always a risk that local council then lose control of their city planning.

I have suggested before here on Freo’s View that in appropriate locations Fremantle City should consider a percentage for green space, where developers are granted additional height if they create the equivalent floorspace into a green open space near or within the development.

Brad Pettitt also showed some less desirable and quite ugly highrise development that we definitely don’t want in WA.

The Freo Mayor also mentioned how massive the port of Singapore is with 35 million containers(TEU) a year.

Singapore has over 17 million international tourists a year, compared to WA of less than a million, and it is strongly branding itself as a green sophisticated city. Brad Pettitt thought Fremantle should celebrate its Aboriginal history more and make it part of our brand. We need a major attractor, Pettitt said.

The Mayor said that heritage was highly valued and protected in Singapore and that there is a lot of street activation in heritage areas, something missing in Fremantle, but there was a lack of solar energy use and Singapore was trying to catch up on that.

Brad Pettitt asked if there was a case to be made for greater hight if it helped to create better public realm, because the urban sprawl could no longer be supported in WA. “Get a train to Butler and see what we are doing!”

In that context it is good to note a change of heart by one of Melbourne’s leading urban planning experts Rob Adams, who ten years ago strongly supported densification and urban infill, but now says it has destroyed many streetscapes in the city because the public realm improvements did not eventuate when they started building highrise.

I say it again here that I would love to see a forum about what appropriate architecture, development and density for Fremantle could be, so I hope someone will organise an event that I would love to be part of.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE MAYOR LESSONS FROM SINGAPORE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on June 13, 2018

 

Pettitt talk

 

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt is the next speaker at the monthly Fremantle Network event next Tuesday June 19 at the National Hotel at 6pm. He will share his impressions of Singapore with us and what Fremantle can learn from this modern city.

The Freo Mayor went on a study tour to Singapore with representatives from the South West Group, that comprises of six local councils.

On one level Singapore and Fremantle seem very far apart. A high density metropolis of over 5 million that’s at the crossroads of global trade, in contrast with our relatively small and isolated port city.

But there are some important lessons, both good and bad, that Freo can learn from Singapore, be that city greening, density, heritage, affordable housing, tourism, and multi-modal transit investment.

Roel Loopers

CRIME DEBATE AT NATIONAL HOTEL TODAY

Posted in city of fremantle, crime, fremantle network, law&order, Uncategorized by freoview on February 26, 2018

 

North Fremantle residents Glen and Louise who own the Glen Cowans Photography Gallery at the Roundhouse took advantage of the free D-Lock offer for their bikes by Freo City

 

The monthly Fremantle Network meetings are always interesting and informative, so make sure to attend them.

This evening at 6pm it will be all about community safety, crime, law&order, anti social behaviour, shoplifting, etc.

The event is upstairs at the National Hotel and kitchen and bar are open, so stay for dinner and network!

Join the discussion about the reality of local crime and safety issues, and what the Fremantle Police and Council are doing about it with Acting Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Phil Gazzone from Fremantle Police and Christopher Scanlan from the Council’s Community Safety Team.

Local police and community safety officers have been collaborating on a range of strategies to reduce antisocial behavior, improve safety and tackle crime in our city. This collaboration and coordination is having positive results.

Plus newly elected President of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, and owner of iconic local business Benny’s, Ivan Dzeba will provide an update on the Chamber’s agenda and priorities for supporting local business in 2018.

Roel Loopers

WOMEN DESERVE AND DEMAND RESPECT

 

The Fremantle Network at the National Hotel last night debated the unacceptable high instances of sexual attacks on women in clubs, pubs and during music events.

Rebecca Snedden and Will MacDonald of Safer Venues WA spoke about the need to raise awareness, collaborate with venues, the alarming statistics of prevalence of harassment on women, and what kind of harassment it is and what causes it.

Safer Venues WA did an online survey in which 80% of female participants reported harassment, unsolicited sexual comments, verbal harassment, non consensual touching, and intimidation by men in venues in Perth and Fremantle.

Of the women who participated in the survey 42% had left a venue because of harassment, but most of them had not reported it to the venue management.

Steps are being taken to address this in venues with better staff and security staff training, signage in venues, that victims coming forward will be believed, better gender balance of security people, musicians calling out from stage to respect women, etc.

It is also important for other people to call out unacceptable behaviour. It just takes one to step between a woman who is harassed and the perpetrator and to take her away from him.

Community lawyer Kate Davis said that only 15% of sexual attacks are reported to police and from that only 10% make it to court. Australia has an incredibly low rate of convictions for sexual assault, to the point that it has become a concern for the United Nations.

Often women who have complained about sexual assault are character assassinated in court and hence most don’t bother to report the crime because of the humiliation they face.

Western Australia has the highest rate of domestic violence in Australia and it has been growing alarmingly I read a couple of weeks ago, which is a clear indication that far too many men do not respect women and don’t treat them as equals. That is not on.

Here my message to men who don’t know how to behave toward women:

It is not manly, macho or blokey to assault women physically or verbally. It’s what cowards do, and it is a criminal offence!

Women don’t ask for it because they are dressed sexy, and you have no reason whatsoever to believe that they dress up for you to touch them, attack them, or insult them.

When you buy a women a drink you don’t buy the right to her body.

To make absolutely sure there are no confusing messages, let the woman take the initiative. If she wants to get to know you better and more intimately she will let you know in no uncertain terms. But even when she kisses and cuddles you she might still not want to have sex with you, so chill, relax and treat her with respect!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE FORUM ON SAFER VENUES FOR WOMEN

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, hospitality, Uncategorized, women by freoview on January 27, 2018

 

The Fremantle Network presents a forum on respect and safety for women in our community and at events at 6pm on Monday 29 January, upstairs at the National Hotel, Fremantle.

Safer Venues WA is a newly established advocacy group that aims to improve standards of inclusivity and safety in Perth’s music and entertainment spaces.

They are doing this by:
• identifying harmful behaviours such as harassment, discrimination and assault as barriers to safety and inclusion,
• working with venues, audience, artists and industry to initiate a collective responsibility for change,
• using communication and research as tools to develop resources and frameworks for tangible change.

Research by Safer Venues WA found that over 67% of punters have experienced harassment (primarily experienced by women).

Perpetuation of discrimination against women based on their choice of dress, their state of intoxication or other forms of victim blaming continues in our community.

The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services is a state-wide peak organisation committed to improving the status of women and children in society. Their work includes the transformative school-based “Promoting Respect Project”.

Kate Davis has worked in the community legal sector for over 15 years, including 5 years as Managing Solicitor of the Women’s Law Centre. Her career reflects her personal commitment to women’s rights and supporting disadvantaged women facing violence or homelessness.

Featuring:
Rebecca Sneddon and Will MacDonald, Safer Venues WA
Angela Hartwig, Women’s Council of WA
Kate Davis, community sector lawyer and local feminist

Whether you’re a man or a woman, a party goer, a venue operator or a by stander, you can make a difference in promoting respect and safety.

 

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CONNECTING COMMUNITIES IS ABOUT PEOPLE

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017

 

The last Fremantle Network of the year event at the National Hotel last eve had two speakers talking about different forms of place making.

Maureen Maher of Street by Street talked about how to connect neighbours and recreate community.

She said the social connections we once had don’t exist any longer and that she had a yearning to meet more people in her street.

Statistics showed that there is an increase in people who feel isolated and that stronger community ties create happiness, security and support.

The average person unlocks their smartphone 110 times a day.

Street by Street organises get togethers, lunches, dinners, garden parties, bake ups, litter cleaning, etc. where neighbours get together and connect.

Dean Cracknell of the Town Team Movement started with the highly successful Beaufort Street Festival in Mount Lawley/Highgate.

He said that governments supply the hardware and the communities the software when they connect businesses and residents and organise events. The people make places and cities!

There is too much negativity in the world and we need to become more pro-active and positive, Cracknell said.

It was important for the groups to have an action plan and not to lose focus, but the main challenge was to get enough people to volunteer and actually help instead of only giving lip service support.

I don’t want to sound too sceptical about this all, but place making has been around for some twenty years. The City of Fremantle payed well-known placemaker David Engwicht to visit our city several times where he talked about picking the low hanging fruit and that the community should be leading the change and take ownership.

Rachel Pemberton, before she became a Freo Councillor had the great idea for the very successful Cappuccino Strip Street Club that happened once a month, where people from the burbs connected in the city centre, set up couches, played games, made music, had dinner. They were really fun events, but died because no one took over the leadership.

The Fremantle community does very well connecting and creating events, e.g the Vally Festival in White Gum Valley, Lilly Street lasagne bake-off, Pilbarra Street get together, the school community-lead Growers Green Farmers Market, the Long Table Dinner, etc. and we have a lot of festivals and music events.

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE NETWORK CONNECTS THE COMMUNITY

Posted in city of fremantle, community, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on December 11, 2017

 

The last Fremantle Network meeting of the year is on tonight at 6pm upstairs at the National Hotel with two speakers.

Dean Cracknell  of Town Team Movement

The Town Team Movement is an ‘under-arching’ non-profit organisation helping town teams to organise, engage and empower their communities and create better places.
Town teams are a model where businesses, residents, community groups and local governments work collaboratively to create great places. The teams are: independent; not politically aligned; and a positive voice and influence in their community.
Each team has slightly different priorities and focuses, but all share these principles.
There are currently 18 town teams in Perth and this number is growing quickly! Dean is a local resident who is keen to help this grassroots movement to grow and flourish in Fremantle.

Maureen Maher of Street by Street

Street by Street is a national project that aims to turn streets into communities and foster an Australia-wide network of neighbour groups. Maureen has been involved in a neighbourhood group in Hilton and wants other neighbourhoods to benefit from the initiative.
A strong sense of community, where you know the people that live near you, share experiences and help one another, makes life is richer. But for many neighbourhoods, this type of connection isn’t happening naturally.
The Street by Street Project helps people build better connections with neighbours, so that more of us can feel a sense of community. They see regular, informal social get-togethers as the pathway to creating community and are working for connected communities to become the norm across Australia, and for people to feel happier, safer and more supported as a result.

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ALL ABOUT ART IN FREO

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on August 22, 2017

 

The Fremantle Network event about art in Fremantle at the National Hotel was yet again a very informative community session. Tom Mueller of PS Art Space in Pakenham Street and Robby Lang of the Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street spoke about their art hubs.

Mueller said it was special to operate out of a federation style brick and iron heritage building, built in 1907. To financially support their arts program PSAS had to diversify through private functions such as weddings, birthday parties, corporate functions, etc. This allowed them to plan their art exhibitions two years ahead.

Small art businesses needed to be adaptive and PSAS tried to make their shows all about giving people a voice, and an honest and emotional response to art, Mueller said.

It is all about the conservation with the community and being open to change, and about creating something in the big warehouse space of the building.

There are 36 studios upstairs with practising artists, but also an architect, and there is the Studio 37 cafe on the ground floor as well.

PSAS had host the Fashion Collective and Hidden Treasures music festival.

Robby Lang of The Fib said that creative people don’t like to work for someone else, and that’s why he started the arts incubator 15 years ago in a run-down warehouse in an industrial area.

People are looking for a different way to exist and keep out of the rat race, and artists look at the cracks in society.

The Fib has art studios, but also a central space for exhibitions and functions, and a cafe.

Lang said it was all about giving people the opportunity to do their own things, and it was not purely about art. It is an environment where people can hang out, express themselves, and feel safe.

You have to be massively flexible and open to what people want to do within the space of the Fib. Micro management only limits your own imagination.

The industrial area he started The Fib in 15 years ago has now changed and there are a lot of creative businesses in the surrounding streets. It probably needs its own branding as an arts precinct, Robby Lang said.

Fremantle is brave enough to take chances and make changes and that is good, as nobody looks back in history where people played it safe. Fremantle has the opportunity to embrace things that are a bit scary and new.

The Fib has been a fantastic journey but a financial disaster, he laughed.

The next project is a movable creative container space for makers and sellers, but council regulations often made it difficult to get innovative things off the ground.

During the public discussion Tom Mueller said that the age of entitlement for artists is over and that relying on public funding was not on anymore. Artists can’t rest on their laurels.

J Shed sculptor Greg James said that an art space is primarily where people create art, and it is not a tourist destination, but the license he has with the City of Fremantle requires him to be open to the public 20 hours a week and that interrupted the work flow and productivity.

I agree that Fremantle Council needs to revisit the Bathers Beach Arts Precinct and be clear about what it wants to achieve. An arts hub of makers is not going to greatly activate the area, and if the City wants to create a Freo Montmartre it needs to come up with more innovative ideas for the area.

Robby Lang said it was important for artists to take chances and that an alternative culture needs to happen in Fremantle.

It was a really interesting couple of hours with two very good and likeable speakers!

Roel Loopers

ART IMPORTANT FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in art, city of fremantle, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on August 21, 2017

 

Just a reminder!

The FREMANTLE NETWORK monthly event today, Monday will focus on what art means for Fremantle, so come along if you are an artist, curator, gallery owner, or someone interested in culture and arts.

Art is at the heart of Freo’s identity. The next event will feature the operators of two of Fremantle’s iconic and highly successful independent arts businesses.

Tom Muller, Artistic Director and Artist at PS Art Space

PS Art Space is a project space for the experience of contemporary art which presents a curated program of exhibitions and events by Australian and international artists. It is also houses a number of local artists’ studios within a sensitively restored, heritage listed building in the heart of Fremantle’s historic West End precinct. PSAS has become one of Perth’s most exciting and experimental platform to experience contemporary culture.

Robby Lang, Owner and Operator of the Fibonacci Centre

The Fibonacci Centre aims to make a city into a beautiful resonating magnet by nurturing the Dreamers and Makers and providing an incubation chamber for creative ideas. The Fib has become a thriving community of artists and makers creating and working together. The atmosphere in this purpose built creative studio space is inclusive and welcoming, and has become a vibrant community hub, hosting events, exhibitions classes and a cafe.

It’s on  at 6pm Monday 21 August upstairs at the National Hotel.

 

Roel Loopers

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WHAT DOES ART MEAN TO FREMANTLE?

Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, fremantle network, Uncategorized by freoview on August 18, 2017

 

The FREMANTLE NETWORK monthly event this Monday will focus on what art means for Fremantle, so come along if you are an artist, curator, gallery owner, or someone interested in culture and arts.

Art is at the heart of Freo’s identity. The next event will feature the operators of two of Fremantle’s iconic and highly successful independent arts businesses.

Tom Muller, Artistic Director and Artist at PS Art Space

PS Art Space is a project space for the experience of contemporary art which presents a curated program of exhibitions and events by Australian and international artists. It is also houses a number of local artists’ studios within a sensitively restored, heritage listed building in the heart of Fremantle’s historic West End precinct. PSAS has become one of Perth’s most exciting and experimental platform to experience contemporary culture.

Robby Lang, Owner and Operator of the Fibonacci Centre

The Fibonacci Centre aims to make a city into a beautiful resonating magnet by nurturing the Dreamers and Makers and providing an incubation chamber for creative ideas. The Fib has become a thriving community of artists and makers creating and working together. The atmosphere in this purpose built creative studio space is inclusive and welcoming, and has become a vibrant community hub, hosting events, exhibitions classes and a cafe.

It’s on  at 6pm Monday 21 August upstairs at the National Hotel.

Malicious rumours that my mate Robby Lang’s talk will be subtitled in English are just soooo wrong. ; >)

See you at the NAT on Monday. It should be interesting!

Roel Loopers

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