The City of Fremantle is planning a nationwide competition for the design of a nature playground at Kings Square as part of the Kings Square Project development.
The area allocated would be to the east of the St John’s church, on land owned by the church, and close to the new cafe that will be part of the new Civic Centre and Library at Kings Square.
It is estimated the design and construction of the playground will cost $ 500,000.00.
A jury which would have members of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, CoF Design Advisory Committee and Fremantle City officers would decide on the winning submission for the project.
Fantastic to see so many families at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza skate park and the Winter Festival ice rink this morning, and the food stalls were also doing a roaring trade.
It also makes for happy trading in the Fishing Boat Harbour, so that is all good for the traders down that way and hopefully also for other cbd businesses.
The weather will be good for another few days so take advantage of it and head out to the Esplanade before the rain returns.
Nice to see so many young kids having fun at the Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza today, trying out their scooters and getting some advise from coaches.
Congratulations to the Fremantle BID group for coming up with the FREO FUNOPOLY concept for the school holidays. What a great way marketing our city by asking children, accompanied by adults, to discover and wander around Freo.
I talked with many of them at the Roundhouse, where we had been supplied with a stamp by BID to put on the map, and they not only loved it, but consumed quite a bit and discovered new elements of our city.
We quite often get people up at Arthur Head who do Amazing Place races with their companies, as part of their group and leadership building, so it is something BID and the City’s marketing department should offer more often.
It would be perfectly suited to a heritage festival for example.
Well done Business Improvement District for this innovative support for our traders!
Sometimes the City of Fremantle does actually listen to the community and implement what we are asking for. During three Sundays in April the Cappuccino Strip will be closed for traffic and will be a pedestrian mall only.
It will happen this coming Sunday April 3 and 10 and 17, so come and join the SUNDAYS ON THE STRIP very Freo fun!
The cafes and bars will extend out onto the strip, there will be lounge areas to just sit and watch the passing parade, and there will be a kids craft zone, fairies, face painting, live music and street performers. It will be a hoot!
An article on Twitter by Canadian Sightline Institute talks about one of my passions for diverse housing in inner city Fremantle and tells the story of how downtown Vancouver BC has 5 times more kids than Seattle and 9 times more than Portland.
Town planners in Vancouver BC made a conscious decision some 20 years ago to not leave the inner city to singles, couples, aged and low income earners, but to also encourage families.
Apartments and townhouses in big developments have to have dining rooms with easy to clean floors, accessible stroller storage, lockable bicycle storage, and outdoor play spaces, ideally where parents can look out on from windows to supervise the children.
At least 25 percent of the development needs to be suitable for families and 20 percent for low-income people.
High density development needs to incorporate parks, open space, daycares, libraries, community centres and elementary schools, and there needs to be soundproofing between the apartments and between the sleeping and living areas.
This is the kind of development that I would like to see in the Knutsford/Blinco/Montreal street area, and not just a small housing scheme only suitable for singles. I would also encourage developers to build more family apartments with a minimum of two bedrooms in the CBD, so that we get real diversity and not just childless couples and singles buying apartments in new Fremantle development.
There is outrage on social media by Fremantle motorists who received speeding fines for driving faster than 50 km per hour along Douro Road in South Fremantle. They claim there are no signs indicating that it is not a 60kph zone and that the speed cameras in that location are only for revenue raising.
I believe it is clear that the speed limit in built-up areas in only 50 kph and that does not require special signs to make motorists aware off, as they should know those basic road rules, but those who got caught, some twice!, are not at all happy and some even want to challenge the fine they got.
South Freo traffic has become a bit of a problem, especially during morning and afternoon rush hour, with traffic banking up and often at a standstill at the Douro Road, South Terrace roundabout.
The intersection of Lefroy Road and South Terrace has become dangerous as it is near impossible to see traffic coming from Fremantle when one wants to turn right from Lefroy Road onto South Tce toward the city. If 4WD or vans are parked next to the Little Lefroy Cafe one has to drive into the flow of traffic so that one can observe traffic coming from Freo.
The area is now packed with very popular cafes and eateries and traffic management needs to be improved soon before bad accidents happen. I am aware the City of Fremantle has plans for more pedestrian and bike-friendly traffic so I hope that will be implemented soon.
And as for those who got caught driving too fast. Don’t speed! This is a residential area where lots of families live, so just slow down and get wherever you want to go 30 seconds later.
This Wednesday’s Special Projects Committee meeting of the City of Fremantle is well worth attending with items such as the Cantonment Hill masterplan, the Green Plan and a Princess May Park masterplan on the agenda.
The Green Plan has in my opinion rightly identified the importance of incorporating Nature Play green spaces for children and families to enjoy, away from the standarised, and a bit boring and too safe, normal playgrounds.
The creation of Urban Forest is something many councils around Australia are implementing and Fremantle wants to be part of the trend of creating green lungs and combatting heat zones in the city.
The Green Plan also identifies that there needs to be a focus on the provision of green space within high-density areas to compensate for reduced private open space. Mayor Brad Pettitt reported recently on his blog that in some European cities 30% of new development has to be public open space.
All that is good but it is also essential to retain existing green spaces and tree canopy and not take away those and then replace them with new trees and spaces. A building at Pioneer Park for example would be contrary to what we should be doing in the Freo CBD, instead the space should be beautified with modern seating, shade structures and a children’s playground.
The Princess May Park Masterplan follows on quite well from the Green Plan with emphasis on providing good public amenity, playground, seating and light and the integration of the soon to be built Hilton Hotel bar and restaurant with terraces down to the park, and the possible use of the former Boys School and FTI building as a cafe. That would create a great community hub in the east end of the CBD where residential and commercial development is already thriving.
I recommend to attend Fremantle Council meetings as the community can have a real input and impact, and it is the closest we’ll ever get to democracy. In that context it was intriguing to get feed back from the Notre Dame University student council that “The consensus is that students are not interested in local government and never will be.” Politics and governance affects each and every one of us, so we should participate to make sure the community has a voice, even if we believe we often get ignored.
It is very good news for Fremantle that the Department of Defence has bought the former Toyota dealership site at Queen Victoria Street and that they will be building 180 residential apartments there and retain 30 percent of them to house defence force personelle.
The changes to Queen Victoria Street as a modern entry statement to our city will be substantial and no doubt it will activate the area enormously.
Great to have a good news story for Freo. I am smiling!!
In an interview about PARK(ing) day on WA Today Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said that the heart of the city should be for people and that parking should be on the periphery. I wonder how many inner city traders agree with that philosophy, that appears to want to make the CBD into a car-free shopping centre.
My problem with some of the sustainability philosophy is that it seems to replace reality. And I am not the only one, as newspapers are full with letters where people complain about the lack of common sense of their local councils.
Sustainability is the new bible for a few, the new religion, and like most religions it attracts righteous zealots who tell us we’ll end up in sustainability hell unless we do what we’re told. These sustainability fundamentalists do not want to hear any arguments because it is their way or the highway. They know what is best for us, so the community will simply have to change their lifestyle and follow the belief of the sustainability church. Forget God, Allah and the reverend Fred Nile, the Lord of sustainability is more powerful than anyone and only his teachings are right and relevant to this new world.
Parking in the inner city? Come off it, people can park on the outskirts and walk into town, or hop on public transport. You want car bays at new residential, office and hotel development? You must be kidding. What’s wrong with hopping on a bike, walking or using trains and busses? (Interesting to note in that regard that the WAPC is considering changing the rules and demanding a minimum number of parking bays at new buildings).
According to the new religion people don’t need to have a car, no matter how old or disabled they are or that they have a family. Everyone should just join the happy sustainability congregation that is more concerned about the environment tomorrow than the people today. In CUSP they believe.
It does not matter to them that what Freo’s 30,000 residents do is less than a drop of water in all the earth’s oceans and that the real environmental efforts should be coming from the powerful industrial and over-populated nations. Stick that argument in a plastic back to take home. Oh, I forgot, you are no longer allowed to use plastic bags in good old Freo, or should that be renamed Sustainability Heaven. Time to stop plastic bottles as well, as a US city just implemented?
We are dealing with a PR spin machine that doesn’t like green, but it loves a good bit of bitumen and concrete. They replace public green open spaces with vertical hanging gardens, so unless your children are monkeys they really have no grass to play on. They plan for high-density buildings but not for public spaces. They want more people to live and work in the CBD, but don’t plan for relaxation, lingering nodes, playgrounds, picnic and BBQ spots, and grass to kick a footy on.
But hey, that’s progress and economic development for you, because all those people deprived of inner city car bays will spend a lot more time walking through the city and that will be good for the economy, because what else can they do but shopping and having lunch.
We must assume that drones will then fly our sustainability-approved, soy latte, free-range, gluten-free, organic, degradable shopping bags to our cars that are parked some kilometres away on the periphery, but that is not something our forward looking council has thought about much yet. And to paraphrase Treasurer Joe Hocking, old and disabled people don’t go out a lot anyway, so why should COF be concerned about their parking needs. As for kids, home detention replaces nature play for generation ME.
The future of the progressive city of Fremantle will be a lot of irate and unhappy people living in a healthy environment. Freo could become a ghost town for bike-hugging sandal lovers, as shoppers will stay away in droves, but that’s life. One person’s hell is someone else’s heaven. Halleluja and amen, or whatever they say in that new religion.
For the record, I believe that looking after the environment is essential and extremely important. I know that everyone means well, but I can’t stand dogmatism, hence my sarcasm, for which I apologise right now.
The point I am making is that it might be better for my health for me to become a vegetarian and teetotaller and exercise more, but I don’t want anyone to force me to that, and the same applies to all the above. Do not force your lifestyle and belief upon others. Your exorcism will be wasted on me.