Freo's View

FREO FOCUS AT URBAN DESIGN DAY

 

It is URBAN DESIGN DAY today so I went to an event at the Fremantle Library this morning where CUSP professor Peter Newman, Dr Annie Matan and Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt gave interesting presentations.

Peter Newman started with The theory of urban fabrics and Fremantle stating that there are three cities within cities; the walking city, the transit city and the car based city.

It is important to recognise the fabric of a city, respect that fabric and rejuvenate the fabric to ensure the city has what it needs.

Walking cities such as Fremantle need to be dense, mixed land zoning, narrow streets, pedestrian priority and minimal parking, with minimal setbacks at medium density development.

My question to Newman after his presentation if medium/high density did not demand setback to create public open space received the reply “parklets I assume” when all those people living in small apartments probably would like to relax in decent parks, not tiny parklets.

Fremantle has the highest concentration of heritage buildings in Australia and the tram used to drive here from 1905-1952 and according to Newman the future is ring rail with light rail and rapid bus transport and the new railless lightrail that drives along sensors built in the road.

Newman said that I was thinking like a transport planner and that it works in other cities when I asked if the reality of lightrail for Fremantle was not a chicken and the egg scenario where we simply do not have the population numbers that would convince private operators to invest in lightrail. I thought my question was more about economic reality and that so called triple bottom line. Yes, it works in other cities which have ten times more residents than Fremantle.

Lightrail in Freo will in my opinion only happen because of and when we collaborate with Cockburn, Murdoch and even Curtin where huge development is happening in Coogee, etc. and thousands of people will move to

Dr Annie Matan talked about placemaking which is all about creating opportunities and engaging with the community very early, so that they get what they want and take ownership of projects, such as the lovely Wray Avenue parklet.

Because of the way we live we no longer get the accidental interaction we used to get on the streets, but we need public spaces for our mental health and happiness and we should improve our streets as places where people meet and connect.

It is important to prioritise human experience over design Matan said. There is a lack of connection and a lot of isolation.

Reinventing community planning would also be desirable so that people are involved from the very start and work together with planning experts. We need to make our cities work for 8 year olds and 80 year olds, because they are the most vulnerable groups in our society, so we need to plan for those groups.

Injecting fun in public spaces is also very important and telling the story of our citizens.

Mayor Brad Pettitt talked about Urban Density and Design for Sustainability in Fremantle which include allowing higher density in the CBD and beyond and sustainable transport.

After nearly forty years of development stagnation Fremantle is finally seeing substantial development with plans to have 5,000 more residents within walking distance of the train station.

We need to stop the unsustainable car dependent urban sprawl and Fremantle is helping with that with the creation of 1,679 new dwellings, 38,697 square metres of new retail and hospitality space, 44,061 sqm of office floor pace and 727 new hotel rooms, while also improving the public realm at Kings Square and Princess May Park.

It was a really interesting morning and I am glad I attended!

Roel Loopers

 

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NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY WOW! DAY

Posted in education, fremantle, notre dame university, students, universities by freoview on February 23, 2017

 

They call it O-Day at Notre Dame University in Fremantle, but today’s Orientation Day for new students was more of a WOW!!!! Day.

It was the biggest number of new students ever at O-Day at UNDA and more than 2,000 paraded through the inner city by the sounds of a drum band.

Live music, food vans and even a licensed bar for the 18+ students were in the historic West End, so no doubt it will have been a fun-filled day and rite of passage for many.

I love having Notre Dame in the West End. I love the energy of the young students and the activation they bring to the inner city. The uni is highly respected and students and staff love it and it is is pretty special that Fremantle can call itself a university city.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said in jest that one day the City will sort the parking issues, but why not start by giving incentives to those students who car pool, as most of them drive all alone into Freo, hence the search for parking near the uni is annoying. Four students in one car instead of just the driver would take some 75% of student cars out of the West End.

Roel Loopers

 

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ARCHBISHOP, RABBI AND SHEIK SPEAK AT NOTRE DAME UNI

Posted in education, fremantle, learning, notre dame university, religion, universities, western australia by freoview on September 7, 2016

I believe next Tuesday’s Abraham: Our Father in Faith event at  Fremantle Notre Dame University will be very interesting to listen to, even for an Atheist like myself, as the three speakers are from different religions.

Speakers will be Archbishop Timothy Costello, Rabbi Dovid Freilich and Sheikh Muhammad Agherdien, so there will be a broad range of views to listen to.

There will be a Q&A session after the speakers, so come and ask the hard questions politely.

The event is on at 2.30 pm on Tuesday September 13 in the Tannock Hall of UNDA, corner Cliff and Croke streets, opposite the Fremantle Herald.

Roel Loopers

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OPEN DAY AT FREO NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY

Fremantle NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY will hold its annual Open Day this Sunday August 21 from 10 am to 3 pm.

It is always a fun and vibrant day in Freo’s historic West End with entertainment and food trucks, but most importantly a chance for future students and their parents to talk to academics and current students and find out about the uni’s programs.

Notre Dame has one of the highest ratings of student satisfaction in Australia and is also highly rated academically, and it is the only university in WA in the centre of a beautiful heritage precinct.

Come along this Sunday as it is open to everyone, and check out the cute promo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7Pir4xpA_g

Roel Loopers

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TO PROSECUTE OR NOT TALK AT NOTRE DAME UNI

The Eminent Speakers Series by the School of Law of the Fremantle Notre Dame University always has interesting speakers and will have a prominent one again on this coming Tuesday August 16.

Joe McGrath SC, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Western Australia since February 2010 will be speaking about Prosecute or not: The Role of the Director of Public Prosecutions from 6-7 pm at the Michael Keating room on the corner of Cliff and High Street. Refreshments afterwards.

McGrath is a graduate of the University of Western Australia, Australian National University and the London School of Economics. He has also assisted on Royal Commissions.

The event is free but RSVP required to: pam.meeham@nd.edu.au

Roel Loopers

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FREO HAPPINESS IN ALL SHAPES AND FORMS

Posted in city of fremantle, education, lifestyle, universities, western australia by freoview on July 1, 2016

 

The Happiness Project, a collaboration between ECU & The City of Fremantle at Kidogo Arthouse at Bathers Beach, aims to provide ideas for enhancing happiness through human-centred design.

Students in Graphic Design and Environmental and Spacial Design courses at ECU work to identify and solve design problems and propose innovative ways to inject happiness into the city.

This exhibition is a showcase of the student’s creative works which explore areas such as health, environmental, economic and social design and which are aimed at advancing Fremantle as a happy and sustainable place.

There are a few nice new ideas and some old and already implemented ones, but the one that stood out for me is the solar charging points for mobiles, laptops etc. They are in the form of palm trees with the leaves being solar panels, providing the power but also shade. A company in Leederville has such solar palm trees, so it would be a very nice and very Freo idea to realise.

The show is on till July 6 so go and have a look!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE NEEDS MORE STUDENT HOUSING

Posted in fremantle, housing, universities, western australia by freoview on April 27, 2016

A report by Knight Frank identifies that there is a shortfall of well over 23,000 Purpose Built Student Accommodation-PBSA in Perth and a staggering near 300,000 shortfall in Australia.

I have long advocated for more student housing in Fremantle for Notre Dame University students and for those at Murdoch and Curtin, as long as the accommodation is built near public transport nodes.

With an oversupply of residential apartments it might now be the time for developers to start thinking about student accommodation and for governments to support it by offering land at reduced prices.

In Fremantle it would be an economic investment to support our traders and the hospitality industry as thousands of students living here would shop and consume here and eat and drink at our cafes and restaurants.  And they would bring that great youthful vibrancy to the city.

Roel Loopers

STUDENT ASKS WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN AT BATHERS BEACH?

Posted in education, fremantle, universities by freoview on April 6, 2016

One of the most rewarding things about publishing my blog and being very involved with Fremantle issues is that I have a lot of contact with university students. Young people are the future so it is important for me to know what they think and that they engage with local government and the community.

I received this message from Curtin University student Samia Scott via Facebook and am happy to support her here.

Hi Roel, I’d like to introduce myself as a student of architecture studying online through Curtin University and during this semester our design brief is for a “market place” at Bathers Beach. After early research, this seems an absurd design idea and I would like your help if you can post on your Facebook page to the community of Fremantle…”what would they like to see most as an addition to Bathers Beach”.. I’m aware the Sunset Markets moved to South Beach and Sunset Sounds although a “nice idea” is detrimental to the environment. I’m also aware of a pre proposed idea of a Public Baths. 

My initial idea is to connect the boardwalk from Bathers Beach House to the area located at the end of Fleet St with a series of interventions along the way enabling cyclists and the disabled the opportunity to access the water.

The reason I’d like to get a quick poll from the community is to better convince my tutors of my decision. As you can appreciate, the realm of tertiary education may not always align with the ‘real world’ needs and as an advocate of Amanda Burdens’ style of designing, I believe the most successful designs are those which consider the people. https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_burden_how_public_spaces_make_cities_work?language=en

If you can help me in this matter, I would be most appreciative.WHAT

Kind regards,

Samia Scott

NOTRE DAME BEST UNI IN THE WEST

Congratulations to Fremantle Notre Dame University who together with Edith Cowan University were the only two five-star rating universities in Western Australia for education excellence in the annual Good Universities Guide.

Curtin and Murdoch universities received two stars each, while the University of WA only got one star.

Well done UNDA!

Roel Loopers

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