I just read an article in the Fifth Estate of June 20, 2016 by Hana Jestribek about a forum of property experts that included Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt. The forum was about infill and density and is definitely a discussion we in Fremantle should have as the very costly urban sprawl is not sustainable in the long-term.
But I wonder where our Freo Mayor got his facts from when he told the forum that “Density was widely supported by the Fremantle community because the City promised our community design excellence.” Where are the survey figures that show that the Freo community supports density, Brad? I haven’t seen them so please be so kind and post them in a comment to this article.
As for the promise of design excellence, the Fremantle Mayor indeed promised us heritage of the future quality buildings during the Planning Scheme Amendment 49 debate, but not a single multi storey building approved by Fremantle Council is anywhere near excellent, in fact most are very boring and mediocre concrete boxes.
What Fremantle needs is smart infill and density, density hubs spread all over the city but only in appropriate locations, where public transport and shopping is nearby and where people will be less inclined to use their cars. We need density hubs so we can cater for a fast ageing population and for couples without children, in smaller but better apartments that have outstanding sound proofing against internal and external noise. Residential hubs with great public and green spaces around them that are well planned ahead and where public transport is not an after thought.
Buildings approved in recent years by the City of Fremantle and/or the state’s Development Assessment Panels are not outstanding in any way or form and are basically the bland, cheap and fast structures developers love.
That brings me to an article by Guy Keuleman of the University of NSW who warns that modern concrete structures will not even last till the end of this century because of the steel reinforcement-rebar process used.
Keuleman points out that steel is mainly made of iron and that iron rusts, but the process is faster and cheaper because it requires fewer concrete pours, but it ignores more durable processes such as brick and mortar and stainless steel frame constructions. The author writes that developers fail to consider the extended costs of maintenance, repair or replacement, and that there are severe environmental implications as developers ignore low carbon and more environmentally sensitive options.
So let us have a few public forums on urban infill and density in Fremantle, Mayor Brad Pettitt. Let’s find out if the community actually does support density and where it believes infill should happen.
Fremantle is growing and that is good, but we need to develop with extreme sensitivity and restraint and with community consensus. Let’s talk about it! Maybe one of the next Fremantle Network talks could start the discussion.
A Fremantle photo that does not require an explanation.
Not much newsworthy happening in delightful Freo, and I am a bit low on energy due to a flu that makes me dizzy, so what better way to combat it than walking through the old town and shooting a few reflections.
I love the discovery and finding new photos in the city I have lived in for 25 years. It is a real challenge that demands power of observation and looking for details everywhere. The grainy looking one is a reflection in a marble column at the police station.
A heavy squall came through Fremantle just after I had my first coffee at Chalkys this morning around 9am, so I took these two photos at Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port on my way to B Shed, where I met up with my mate Lachlan for a second cuppa.
It was a rather crisp start of winter this morning but the early sun light always creates some magic for photographers, as these photos taken in Fleet Street and of the arrival of the cruise ship Pacific Eden show.
The crane at Fremantle Atwell Arcade came down very early this morning, so the building should be opening soon and become home to office workers and new shops.
Development is happening all over Freo with the verandas being reinstalled at the Henderson Street Warders Cottages, the first tenants have moved in at the Gunners Cottages at Cantonment Hill, and the Heirloom by Match development at Queen Victoria Street has finished its first apartments, which are now open for inspection, and the MSC building in Cliff Street is also at the final stages.
The announcement if and where the Department of Housing will be moving in Fremantle is also due in a few months, so Freo is on track for its economic recovery.
It’s all peaceful in Fremantle paradise and no big items on Council agenda to report about either, but the weekend will be full of heritage festival fun.
I love the facades on the west side of Pakenham Street but am very worried about the Quest Hotel development on the corner of Short Street. Scaffolding has come down and it looks pretty awful in my humble opinion.
Wandering past the Leeuwin HQ on Victoria Quay I noticed this reflection of the Maritime Museum. It’s almost a selfie as I left a bit of myself in the right-hand corner.