Freo's View

GREEN FREMANTLE A MYTH

Posted in city of fremantle, local government by freoview on November 25, 2014

The Fremantle Gazette today published an article on a report by VISION 202020 that analysed 139 local governments in Australia. The findings for Fremantle are disturbing and debunk the local myth that Fremantle Council is a Green one.

Vision 202020 found that Freo is the second most hard-surface council in our country. It also concluded that from the 29 local governments measured in Western Australia Fremantle is the second worse for green space.

Many people in Fremantle, including I, have been calling for years for the COF to implement long-term green space and public open space planning when initiating economic development through building high office and residential buildings in the inner city. The need for more green public space will increase with the increasing residential and office workers population and needs to be addressed with urgency.

The new Masterplan for the Esplanade will most likely include a concrete basketball court and bitumen pathways, thus reducing the badly-managed grassed area that looks horrendous. Dozens of mature trees were removed from the Kim Beazley site in White Gum Valley and there are even contemplations to build on Pioneer Park.

Fremantle Council needs to become serious about planning green space and stop the great spin of being eco-friendly, when in fact we are one of the worst cities in Australia for green space.

Roel Loopers

FIVE STAR GREEN NO COMPENSATION FOR MEDIOCRE DESIGN

Posted in architecture, fremantle by freoview on January 21, 2014

There is little doubt that Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt has made our City his own test case to prove that his academic teachings are correct, with the Mayor promoting the City’s green, environmental and sustainability credentials. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it allows for open-mindedness and does not become blinkered dogmatism. One-eyed views are dangerous, as we see with those who deny Climate Change.

It is good to want fewer cars and more bikes in Freo, and it is even better to build sustainable houses and eco-friendly office buildings of the highest possible Green Star rating. No doubt we need to encourage more people to use public transport regularly. That’s all good but the big picture is bigger than only green eco values.

I am disappointed that the Mayor boasts on his blog about two new buildings with Five Green Star rating, without acknowledging that the design for the $ 60 million Point Street development is way below exceptional design standards, and very un-Freo. The big seven-storey box-like structure will house a 173 room hotel, 77 residential units, shops and a supermarket, but the façade looks like an office block more suited to 1970 than 2018.

It shows that the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee is a lame duck, since the developers ignored the suggestions made by the DAC, and even workshops with them at the DAC did not result in significant changes to beautify the building, for example to split the hotel and residential part, so they have their own visual identity.

The State Government’s DAP will probably sign off on it, and Freo will be stuck with the monstrosity. But no worries, you good people of Fremantle, you might get another eyesore in town, but it will have the highest green star rating. Stuff the aesthetics and visual appeal of buildings. Let’s go eco and ugly instead.

That is why I want to give our Mayor some friendly advise; do not make promises you can’s keep Brad. Don’t promise heritage of the future buildings when you are not even a bit worried about the banal mediocrity of the Point Street design. It is not a building that should be built in Fremantle. It is unacceptable because it is ugly, and five-star green rating does not make up for that.

During the Planning Scheme Amendment 49 debate you and councillors told the community to trust you, because you all lived in Fremantle and would not destroy it. Show us that these were not just meaningless words. Say no to badly designed buildings.

The Fremantle community want to trust their Elected Members, they want to believe our Mayor is sincere and doesn’t engage in empty spin and smoke&mirrors. Prove that my very public support for you during the mayoral election was warranted. You, as our leader, need to stand up to developers and big money and tell them to go away when they want to erect buildings of low architectural quality in our city. Show some guts, and don’t believe that any progress just for the sake of progress is good. Wrecking Fremantle’s visual beauty for the gain of Green Star ratings is not acceptable, Brad! You need to do much better.

Roel Loopers

MOSMAN PARK ECO FAIR

Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 20, 2013

EcoFair flyer 2013 v4

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FREMANTLE MAYOR ON ABC 720

Posted in fremantle by freoview on October 28, 2012

For those who were out and about on Friday evening and missed Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt‘s interview on the ABC 720 Report

click here to watch it: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-26/fremantle-mayor-confident-the-port-city-will/4336790

Roel Loopers

DAY LIGHTS ON IN ECO CENTRAL

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 10, 2012

Could someone at the carbon neutral City of Fremantle please change the timer for street lights. The ones in High Street are still on at 7.15 in the morning when sunrise is just after six. It is perfectly light and bright as you can see in this photo, so no need to keep the lights on.

Roel Loopers

 

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CAR FREE FREO COUNCIL GOSPEL

Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 7, 2012

My weekend post about cars and not required car bays under PSA 49 seemed to have been misunderstood by some. It was not a personal attack on anyone, but an attack on local, state and federal governments continuing to erode our liberties.

I do not want to be told that I can’t have a car if I want to buy an apartment and live in Fremantle, and that I should get myself a bike or use public transport. It might be desirable, but it should not be forced down our throats. I would not accept the closure of bottle shops either, because drinking is a problem for some in our society. Neither would I advocate the closure of butchers because vegetarians believe their way of living is healthier than mine.

I live in a free country where I want to have free choice, no matter if the choice I make is good or bad for me. As long as I act within the law I should have that freedom of choice. But some political groups are acting like religious fanatics, telling us how to live our lives, and that is not acceptable to me.

Maybe the City of Fremantle should also make knitting and meditation compulsory for all of us heathens who do not live in eco perfect places, that don’t have roof gardens, but carports.

I have used my car twice in three weeks, but at times will need it for work to get my lights and stands to the shoot locations. A young photographer buying a car bay free apartment in Fremantle in the future is expected to heave his equipment onto a train.

It is the lack of reality in this whole concept that infuriates me. I have nightmares of councillors dressing up in black and knocking on our doors on Sundays to spread the gospel of car free living.

Please, gods, get me out of here fast!

Roel Loopers

THE GREAT GROVE LIBRARY

Posted in fremantle by freoview on November 8, 2011

The culture shock of traveling north of the Swan river and away from Fremantle always stays with me for a long time, but for obscure reasons my psychiatrists insist I should keep trying it. I had a brave moment today and went to the Grove Library in Cottesloe, and what a remarkable building it is. It is one of those you either hate or like kind of structures, but I am one who was very impressed with the building.

It is totally eco and sustainable and all things modern, but without airconditioning. It’s got windmills outside and yummy fresh clean air inside, and it is so incredibly peaceful and quiet that I almost meditated while reading the newspaper. The cafe also serves some of the best coffee I have had for a long time.

I did not have time to take interior photos, and would need to get permission for it, but want to go back and shoot a whole series of pure tranquility, if they allow me to do so. Go experience it for yourself. It is well worth a trip north.

Roel Loopers

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