Freo's View

CONNECTING FREO’S FUTURE TO THE PAST

 

I enjoy talking with architects, city planners and developers about Fremantle’s future and have found it educational and inspiring to have discussions with City of Fremantle heritage coordinator architect Alan Kelsall about how we should try to grow Fremantle.

Alan and I agree that in general the Fremantle community recognises that the need for regeneration of the city is necessary and that it is desirable if done well: if it is managed, planned and implemented in ways that reinforce and sustain the sense of Fremantle’s distinctiveness embodied in it, such as the rich mix of built heritage and unique urban character.

However, without broad, long-term public support and commitment to the planning vision for Fremantle it is unlikely to be successful. As a community we therefore need to have a clear understanding of what we mean when we try to articulate it. The ultimate outcome will set the standard for good design within Freo’s heritage areas and getting it right is essential to securing the future of our heritage buildings.

Let’s consider Fremantle’s history and what it means in the context of future growth of our city. Fremantle was developed as a port town and a centre of trade, and for most of its history it was prosperous and acknowledged as the second city in the metro area. That underscores the city’s distinct character and its rich heritage.

The prosperity of Fremantle encouraged the construction of its present heritage buildings. These developments were not simply utilitarian or profit based, but showed a desire to display a mix of business confidence and civic pride. That is probably why these buildings have a quality that people continue to find attractive, and why most people in our community believe it is worth conserving them, not only as memorial of the past but also as exemplars of successful, high quality architecture, urban design and city planning.

Fremantle had buildings with a strong association with the working port, but also buildings that provided a diverse mix of uses. These included schools, shops, places to work and socialise, etc. which people living in its densely populated catchment could reach on foot or by public transport. It is what we now consider to be an example of sustainable urban design.

Fremantle Port played a primary role in Freo’s success and its distinct character due to the facts that processing, storage and distribution of export and import commodities took place in buildings located near the harbour. It created the mutual interdependence between the port and the city that generated and sustained our port city character.

However this pattern of beneficial evolution changed in 1969 with the introduction of containerisation, which caused profound changes in Fremantle, not only because it changed the way in which ships were loaded and unloaded but also because storage and distribution of export and import commodities no longer took place near the harbour. These changes completely severed the earlier mutual supporting interdependencies between the harbour, city centre and surrounding residential suburbs. The changes impacted not only on shipping and its associated industries but also affected the commercial, retail, social and residential vitality of the city. In addition it caused deterioration of the quality of public areas and less appreciation of the worth of its heritage buildings.

It is obviously impossible, and probably not even desirable, to try to replicate the primary role played by the port in the past, but it is possible, through new higher density mixed-use development located between Victoria Quay and Kings Square, within reach of the railway station, to reproduce the type of mutually supporting interdependencies that used to exist between the port and the city centre. For this to be successful though it demands that development is guided by integrated strategic planning that is inspired, but not limited, by the past to create the conditions of genuine everyday activities, that should come as a result of more people living and working and enjoying social leisure time in all its diversity within the same area.

It is important to recognise that the role residential development on appropriate sites in the CBD can play is crucial to generating the vitality and resilience needed to cope with future problems and to adjust to changing circumstances. A fundamental benefit of regenerating and revitalising the area in this way is that it would promote positive change and would contribute to re-establishing Fremantle’s city centre as the heart of the community, which has already started with the Kings Square redevelopment project.

If Fremantle’s heritage is not managed carefully because it is considered to be too hard it will be at risk of being lost and with this its potential to enrich the city in ways that give a sense of distinctiveness, meaning and quality to the places in which people live and work, as well as the sense of destination that attracts people to Freo and makes them want to come and spend time in our city and thus contribute to secure its future.

It is a huge challenge to get it right, but with respectful dialogue between developers, city planners and the community we can all positively contribute to Fremantle’s progress and future.

Roel Loopers

A huge thank you to Alan Kelsall for his collaboration with constructing this article!

 

 

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HUGE MSC ELMA ARRIVES AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on July 20, 2019

 

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One of the largest container vessels ever to arrive in Fremantle Port entered the harbour just before 5pm on Saturday afternoon. The 300-metre-long and 50-metre-wide MSC ELMA can carry nearly 9,600 containers.

She was escorted into port by three tug boats.

Roel Loopers

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HUGE CONTAINER SHIPS ARRIVE AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on July 15, 2019

 

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One of the biggest container ships ever to arrive in Fremantle Port will arrive this evening at 8pm.

The Maersk Skarstind is 300 metres long and can carry more than 9,400 containers.

The Skarstind is due to depart tomorrow at 4.30pm so take the kids to the South or North mole and have a look!

Another huge container vessel, the MSC Elma will arrive in Fremantle on July 20.

Roel Loopers

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FOOD TRUCKS AT B SHED TONIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, food, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on June 17, 2019

 

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The winter location for the Food Trucks Under The Bridge is at B Shed on Victoria Quay and it is on tonight and every Monday from 5-8pm.

It is a lovely spot to watch the sun set and see ships arriving and departing from Fremantle Port, so take the family or just yourself and enjoy a good meal from some of our best food trucks.

Roel Loopers

FOOD TRUCKS AT B SHED TONIGHT!

Posted in city of fremantle, food, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on June 3, 2019

 

Under The Bridge

 

The very popular Under The Bridge Food Trucks event will be held for the first time tonight inside B Shed on Fremantle’s Victoria Quay for the start of the winter season.

Great food in a great setting with live music, harbour and sunset views, so what better way to spend the last hours of the long WA Day weekend. It is on from 5-8pm.

We’ve got @eatnoevil1, @piadina_nonna_pina, @juicepalacefremantle and @stampede_gelato PLUS live music!

Roel Loopers

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WINTER IN PORT FOR UNDER THE BRIDGE FOOD TRUCKS

Posted in city of fremantle, food, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on May 28, 2019

 

Under the Bridge June 3

 

Good to see that Under The Bridge Food Trucks took up my suggestion when they asked on Facebook for a winter location for the popular Monday event.

I suggested B Shed on Victoria Quay as I know Fremantle Ports is keen to activate VQ more, and the two parties reached an agreement.

From coming Monday June 3 on the Under the Bridge Food Trucks will be in B Shed straight on the wharf from 5-8pm where they offer delightful meals, live music, great sunsets and port activities, so go and check it out on the long WA Day weekend!

It is on throughout winter at B Shed till August 19  and after that it will return in summer to the East Street jetty

Roel Loopers

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FREO’S FANTASTIC WORKING PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on May 19, 2019

 

 

I love all the activity in Fremantle Port and yesterday it was a busy Saturday with two live trade ship at berth, a container ship leaving and another one arriving, while on Victoria Quay was a display of vintage cars, motorcycles and buses.

I took photos of the container ship CMA CGM Rossini leaving port and half an hour later of the Al Rawdah arriving.

While waiting I took photos of a Heron sun baking on one of the old cranes, a tiny inflatable keeping well out of the way of a huge freighter, and of a mum and daughter watching daddy fishing.

I love Freo’s working port so I hope it will remain just that for the last years of my life.

Roel Loopers

Click on the photos if you like to view them larger.

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HAZY FREMANTLE MORNING

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle port, pollution, Uncategorized by freoview on May 13, 2019

 

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It’s a bit of a hazy morning in good old Freo so the perfect location to take some photos of the fog is Fremantle Port of course.

Roel Loopers

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FREO WELCOMES MASSIVE MAGNIFICA

 

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I almost missed the maiden arrival to Fremantle Port of the huge MSC Magnifica cruiseliner because it was initially scheduled to arrive tomorrow. But I was lucky to walk at Bathers Beach when I noticed the massive vessel gliding into port, so I went on a long walk to take photos from all different angles.

The Musica-class MSC Magnifica is 294-metres long and normally carries up to 2,550 passengers, but can accommodate a maximum of 3,605 passengers. It cost $ 547 million to build.

It will depart Fremantle tomorrow evening at 10pm if all goes to plans.

Roel Loopers

 

TWO JEWELS EQUAL GREAT FREMANTLE PORT

 

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It is always an impressive sight to see large cruiseliners enter and depart Fremantle Port and float past the equally impressive Maritime Museum, so I took this photo of the Pacific Jewel leaving Freo just after 4pm on Friday afternoon.

Roel Loopers

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