Freo's View

SOUTH FREO PAVEMENT PLACEMAKING PARTY

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, community, lifestyle, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on December 7, 2018

 

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The first South Fremantle Precinct placemaking pavement party on the corner of Little Lefroy Road and South Terrace was a big success during the late afternoon of Thursday.

Young and old and dogs turned up to connect with the local community and celebrate the new street furniture and traffic slowing project.

Many of the South Freo celebs turned up and so did Mayor Brad Pettitt and Councillor Jon Strachan.

Well done to all the volunteers who beautified the area and organised the event!

Roel Loopers

GOOD AFFORDABLE PROPOSAL FOR QUARRY STREET

 

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Quarry-181205

As reported here on Freo’s View yesterday it is unlikely that Fremantle Council will sign off on a scheme amendment that would increase density of City owned lots in Quarry Street to R100, after the local community opposed it during public consultation time.

But positive members of the Fremantle Arts Centre Precinct, including local architect Murray Slavin, are offering an alternative solution for the development of the lots, which are for sale, that would see an increase from R25 to R60 and buildings of only three storeys.

The proposal is for 42 affordable residencies which include small studio apartments and a mix of two and three bedroom apartments that would include renewable energy, developed within a Mutual Not For Profit Structure.

The proposal is specifically designed for low-cost housing and aged care accommodation, with state of the art IT to accommodate on-line data and a health-ready response to enable the comfort and security of seniors.

The proponents believe the site is particularly appropriate for the elderly and less abled because of its proximity to the Fremantle Leisure Centre and Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle Park and public transport. All City of Fremantle facilities for the residents would be within walking distance.

The project responds to the desire to downsizing by empty nest seniors and to the national need for low-cost public housing.

The specifically designed seniors’ apartments respond to the need of a simplified independent lifestyle for older Australians-a transition to delay entry into dedicated aged care facilities.

The project would also accommodate a mix of age groups, which would help against social isolation, and to showcase optimum use of renewable energy and water use, and fast evolving new transport developments.

The item about a possible scheme amendment for the City of Fremantle owned properties  are on on the agenda of Wednesday’s Planning Committee, so come along and have your say. It starts at 6pm at the North Fremantle community Hall on Wednesday December 5.

Roel Loopers

NO HIGHER DENSITY FOR QUARRY STREET?

 

The potential scheme amendment and zoning to R100 density for the properties at 7 and 9-15 Quarry Street in Fremantle is unlikely to proceed because of strong community objections to the idea.

The properties are owned by the City of Fremantle, which wants to sell them, but the community consultation showed that local residents are in favour of zoning the street for low-density R25 instead of medium-density R100.

Main concerns were the impact on the residential amenity of the streetscape, so the officers’ recommendation for this Wednesday Planning Committee is:

The report concludes that whilst there is planning merit in establishing a consistent zoning and suitable transitional density in this location, the complexity of developing mechanisms sufficient to address concerns raised to the satisfaction of the community, and the relatively modest increase in centre catchment/development yield likely to be achieved, does not warrant progressing the matter through all the stages of a formal scheme amendment process.

Roel Loopers

BUILD US HERITAGE OF THE FUTURE!

 

An opinion piece in the West Australian by Suzanne Hunt, the WA president of the Architects Institute of Australia, caught my eye because the headline claims that ‘Architects make great cities’ I don’t believe the architectural reality in Perth can sustain that claim.

Ms Hunt wants architects appointed to the Metronet Reference Group and Infrastructure WA, because in her words It would ensure that local planning incorporates the very best examples of good design. Really?!

Suzanne Hunt also writes that Architects advocate for small policy decisions, which create happier, healthier and more connected suburbs, but that is unfortunately not what most of her colleagues are doing.

Drive and walk through the Perth metro area and you’ll see mostly boring, mediocre and visually unattractive multi-storey buildings, which have little regard for the streetscape and public amenity and which do very little to add new public open spaces with trees.

What we have been getting instead are bland concrete boxes which are often too high and bulky. The ‘creativity’ of the architects is putting cladding or screening on facades to hide the boredom of the actual building. That is make-up only that is trying to hide the flaws.

I get it that architects need to make a living and that the developers they design projects for are mostly interested in getting as much profit-making floor space as possible, and that beauty, aesthetics and great design are not  priorities for them, hence many architects compromise and design average buildings, instead of enhancing our suburbs with creative and inspiring new buildings.

That is the reason why so many of us are against suburban infill, not necessarily because of the proposed hight and bulk, but because we want to retain the unique character of older places like Fremantle, and that means we want heritage of the future in outstanding and beautiful buildings, not mediocrity.

Roel Loopers

CITY PLANNING-MAKE YIMBYs OUT OF NIMBYs

 

Interesting to read that the City of Bayswater won the Planning Institute of Australia Planning Excellence Award 2018 for public engagement.

Bayswater invited 200 community groups and all residents to participate in a five-month community consultation process with focus groups, on-line participation, working groups, etc.

Well before planners and councillors put pen to paper about city planning projects the community was consulted in-depth about what type of buildings, what height and what set-backs they preferred in their suburbs.

There was also a conference in Melbourne a few weeks ago where planning experts expressed that councils should make YIMBYs out of NIMBYs by engaging much earlier with the public, so that community reaction would not be negative because people felt they are not being consulted.

It is one of the issues I have talked and written about, even in the days long back when I was the president of the Fremantle Society.

If council and developers engaged the community in the very early stages of development a lot of time and money could be saved, because it would be clear from the start what the community will accept and what development proposals they find unacceptable and will fight, all the way to SAT and the WAPC if that is required.

Fremantle Council and our developers should learn from Bayswater, as the development process can be sped up while creating better outcomes at the same time.

Well done City of Bayswater!

Roel Loopers

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MURAL BIRD ART CAN STAY! YEAY!

Posted in art, city of fremantle, lifestyle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on October 10, 2018

 

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The beautiful mural artwork at 1 Stevens Street can stay at does not have to been removed, after the FPOL committee of Fremantle Council on Wednesday evening unanimously passed the officer’s recommendation of leaving the art in situ.

A local resident had complained to the City of Fremantle that the gorgeous mural of native birds is an eyesore, but the elected members did not agree with that. There was not even debate about it!

Great outcome for Freo, the city of arts and artists!!! Good taste prevailed.

Roel Loopers

SHARING ART IS GENEROUS AND BEAUTIFUL

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, culture, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2018

 

 

I was surprised to get a few negative comments about the mural artwork on the corner of Stevens and Brennan streets in Fremantle. I am yet to hear strong community protest against visual pollution such as signs all over the place, so what irks people about art along our streets?

Some people believe that individual home owners have no right to impose their art and taste on the community, and they argue that if people want these murals they should do it on the inside of the wall, or inside their house, but not where it is visible to the general public. I disagree with that.

Since humans started building structures others have had that imposed on them, be that bad architecture, ridiculous colour schemes, or garden gnomes, lions, etc.

And where would we stop if we legislated against murals and other art on private properties?  Should we ban businesses as well from beautifying their walls, and is it acceptable to have public art inflicted on us? What about bus shelters and railway stations?

Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that most people understand what crappy amateur art is, compared to good professional art, and the artwork in Brennan Street is the latter.

Roel Loopers

MAKING FREMANTLE MORE WALKABLE

 

What makes a walkable city, and is Fremantle one of them, was asked at the Politics in the Pubs forum by the Fremantle Network at The Local in South Fremantle on Tuesday evening.

A panel with Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Dr Annie Matan of CUSP(Curtin University of Sustainable Policy), and City of Fremantle urban and transport planner Martin Spencer addressed the topic before a general discussion

Martin Spencer said that on the walkability index Fremantle gets 72-79 out of 100 and is the 19th most walkable suburb in the Perth metro area.

We need to make the city open, invite people in, and make them walk. Drag people into the shops and off the footpaths, and connect destinations with better signage.

Dr Annie Matan said that being pro pedestrians and cyclists did not mean we are anti car, but we need great public transport and walking and cycle infrastructure to make the city work better. There needs to be a safe and interesting environment for pedestrians, which includes good public toilets, water fountains, benches, shade structures and trees, etc.

“Every road needs to tell a story to our visitors and ourselves”

Footpaths are where we meet friends, and importantly also strangers. It is where we connect with our communities.

We need to create authentic places as they are important, and destinations to walk to, and do connections better, such as walking from the CBD to South Beach or the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Many footpaths are cluttered and become a hazard and Fremantle City needs a strong policy for planning walkability, Dr Matan said.

Olwyn Williams said that Fremantle has got more than anyone else; the port, heritage, the university, beaches, cafes, art, shopping, festivals and concerts, but we are a small community with a small ratepayers’ base, so we need the outside world to come to Freo and make it economically viable to set up shop here.

We need more visitors, more people working here and more residents, and to become a better place we need to embrace medium density living.

Connections with the suburbs is vital and important as Fremantle is not just the CBD.

Road closures in the CBD often have a negative impact on nearby businesses and the City should consider that more carefully. The second hour free parking the City of Fremantle has just implemented, is a very good idea as it will make people linger longer, Williams said.

Wayfinding needs to improve as signs don’t tell you that you could walk just a block further to enjoy Wray Avenue, or that it is a nice half hour walk to South Beach, and we need much better lighting to make us feel safer at night.

Olwyn Williams also said that the High Street Mall is a disaster and the closure should never have happened.

Martin Spencer said it was about time the community took ownership as it can’t be just left to local governments to implement change.

Comment: I believe we need to make the walking journey more attractive and make it a discovery, an adventure, walks where we connect all our Freo hidden treasures, and where we decentralise more and better utilise the A Class reserve at Arthur’s Head, the lawn next to the Roundhouse, Pioneer, Princess May and Fremantle parks, etc.

Fremantle offers a unique experience and that is what our new destination marketing should be all about. People will be encouraged to walk if we offer them a better shopping and lifestyle experience.

Roel Loopers

 

 

BEAUTIFUL FREMANTLE MURAL ART

Posted in art, city of fremantle, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on September 24, 2018

 

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What a lovely mural painting on this house at Queen Victoria Street, just before East Street when one is leaving Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

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END OF LIFE CHOICES FORUM AT NOTRE DAME

Posted in city of fremantle, health, lifestyle, living, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2018

 

NDA forum

 

Fremantle’s Notre Dame University facilitated a very interesting forum about End of life choices on Wednesday evening.

The panel members were Prof. David Kissane-NDA and St Vincent’s Hospital, Dr Richard Lugg-Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice, Dr Murray Hindle-Dying with Dignity WA, Lana Glogowski-Palliative Care WA, and Chris Shanahan-Barrister Murray Chambers.

Prof. David Kissane said the proposed new law was about the right to die rather than offering optimal palliative care, and he expressed concern that mentally ill patients might have access to euthanasia. Palliative care is the real alternative to assisted suicide.

Murray Hindle said it was the right of the individuals to have control over their death, not about better palliative care, and that in a survey 88 per cent had said yes to doctor assisted dying. It is about a person’s right to autonomy.

Lana Glogowski said that palliative care is not well enough resourced by our governments and that people should have a conversation with their family and loved ones about end of life options and what they wanted, and that there needed to be more education about those options.

Dr Richard Lugg said that patients want their care to be compassionate and kind and that the autonomy of the patients comes before the doctor’s-I know best-decision. We want the new law to help, not hinder assisted dying, he said

Lawyer Chris Shanahan said under the current law the patient has the right to consent, the right to self determination, and needs to give consent to medical treatment.

Questions were raised about putting doctors in a difficult position and pressure from family members on patients, but a new law would see no compulsion on doctors to assist dying if they are against it.

End of life options would also be different for different cultures and religions, and most people wanted to die at home and better palliative home care needed to be supported.

It was essential that any new legislation about Voluntary Assisted Dying has to have clarity and lack of ambiguity, and too fast change might overwhelm the community process. We need to respond in a human way.

It was argued that any suffering can be dealt with with drugs and that many people who plea for help are depressed and demoralised and want to die.

The larger part of the community die a good and dignified death and do not suffer.

What was not discussed at all is the reality of many older people dying an undignified and lonely death through suicide, often trough illegally imported drugs, such as Nembutal,  from Mexico and eastern European countries, or they kill themselves in other ways, because the choice of assisted dignified dying is not offered to them under our present legislation in WA.

The euthanasia debate is a very important one, and one we need to have in our community, so it was very good that Notre Dame University accommodated the discussion. Thank you NDA!

Roel Loopers

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