Next Monday the Fremantle Network presents Dimitri Kapetas of EHDO architecture, who are in the process of designing the first Nightingale Housing project in Fremantle at 29 Wood Street.
Nightingale Housing is a non-profit organisation formed by a group of leading Australian architects. It aims to create affordable housing models that are specifically designed to achieve environmental and social benefits for cities. It promotes the building of communities, not just market commodities.
Check out: https://www.ehdo.com.au/nightingale-freo/
The second speaker will be Michael McPhail, the the youngest Deputy Mayor of WA and the Town of East Fremantle.
Michael has a deep passion for cities and making them better places for the people who live in them.
The focus of his talk will be the future of the Leeuwin Barracks, and the impact this will have on the future of Greater Fremantle.
Originally educated as an urban planner, Michael now works for global real estate firm CBRE to market Perth’a next generation of apartment living.
As a Councillor, Michael’s key focus include ensuring meaningful community engagement in the redevelopment of Leeuwin Barracks and reimagining of East Fremantle Oval, leading East Fremantle’s push to ban single use plastic bags and championing the upgrading of East Fremantle’s exceptional foreshore.
The monthly Fremantle Network event is on at 6pm, Monday 24 April upstairs at the National Hotel.
It’s Easter and the wattle is starting to blossom in Fremantle. It’s a brilliant morning that does not deserve or require negativity and it is a special and important day for Christians, so let us celebrate life instead of finding an excuse for attacking our Muslim brothers and sisters, as a columnist in the Sunday Times today does.
Religions are important and valuable for those who believe in their gods and who gain strength from it and it is not up to anyone to judge people because of their religion.
It is so irrelevant if some Muslim women don’t shake hands with men as culture, tradition and religions are all different. I have been to countries where I was told not to touch children on their head because of culture or religion. No big deal.
When I arrived in Australia 35 years ago it was the norm for men to shake hands with men but not with women. I never embraced that practice because I was brought up in the Dutch culture of shaking hands with men and women, but it never was a big deal, just different and for me slightly awkward to observe.
Many religious traditions have over hundreds of years become more cultural traditions with people often not knowing what it is we celebrate. How many of us will reflect today on the biblical Christian belief that Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was nailed to a cross? This is very meaningful to all Christians but pretty meaningless to other religions and non-believers. No big deal.
Easter eggs and Easter bunnies have probably very little to do with Jesus Christ, but that is not a big deal either, as long as we all try to live peacefully and with mutual respect for each other.
This weekend is perfect to celebrate our great Australian multiculturalism and the acceptance of all different religions, cultures and traditions. When you walk around the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival the next two days that is what you will be witnessing; people living together in near perfect harmony.
Have a great Easter!
It is very lively and productive at the LIV residential development at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets.
It is a very large development by Defence Housing straight opposite the beautiful Heirloom by Match development.
The east end of Fremantle is going through a well-overdue facelift that will improve the run down area dramatically.
BRILLIANT is a very good exhibition by Fremantle artists about the theme HOME.
Home is so important to all of us and can be anywhere as long as we have a sense of belonging and connect with the community.
I believe Fremantle is very good at making one feel at home. It embraces you with charm and warm friendliness and people who care.
The show is on at the Moores Contemporary Gallery in Henry Street that also houses the great Moore&Moore cafe and a children’s playground in the courtyard, so go spend some time there this weekend.
Participating artists are Claire Bailey, Theo Koning, Jo Darvell, Clyde McGill, Sharyn Egan, Alessandra Rossi, Megan Anderson, David Carson, Andrew Christie, Olga Cironis, Ben Crapsley, Jenn Garland, Fiona Gavino, Anisa Hirte, Darren Hutchens, Marcia Hadlow, Junko Kitamura, Steve Makse, Susie Marwick, Respoke, Jane Ryan, Nick Vervest, Annabelle Williamns, Mark Welsh, Rosina Wonglorz.
There is an interesting opinion piece in the West Australian today about the limitations of urban infill and the necessity of regional development.
Higher density in established suburbs and near railway stations and bus lines is not something that can go on indefinitely, so other alternatives need to be considered.
The WA state government has long been talking about decentralisation and to its credit has moved some departments out of the Perth CBD, but private businesses and large corporations still appear reluctant to open offices outside of Perth.
Most big law, mining and advertising companies are in Perth or West Perth and Fremantle has been struggling for decades to attract large companies to relocate here.
While it is good that Fremantle has so much residential, commercial and tourist development at the moment, there is only limited space in the inner city and we need to protect the unique character and heritage attraction of our city.
But decentralisation and city planning needs to become a much bigger picture than that even and fast rail transport to places like Northam, Albany, Bunbury and Geraldton should be considered.
Mining companies should start building permanent accommodation for their personnel in the Pilbara to decrease the high-polluting FIFO process and increase the regional population.
The Perth metropolitan urban sprawl needs to stop because it is not sustainable and too expensive, but filling up character older suburbs with ugly high concrete boxes is also not the solution.
What our politicians lack is big visionary thinking when it comes to planning the regional cities of the future. Planning is still far too much Perth-centric that will only worsen the traffic, public transport and environmental problems that are inevitable when too many people are squeezed into city living.
Innovative integrated regional development should be a priority for the new McGowan Labor government.
Today is my personal Australia Day! Thirty-five years ago today on March 13, 1982 I landed in Australia with my then partner Brigitte to start our new life on the other side of the world, and what a journey it has been.
The decision to migrate to Australia was seen by many friends and colleagues in Germany as foolhardy and naïve, but how wrong they were.
There is no doubt that my Australian years have been the most challenging and often very difficult years of my life. I went through all the highs and all the lows, from a highly successful photography business to a financial disaster triggered by severe depressions, from beautiful houses to awful granny flats, and from great love affairs to a badly broken heart, but as the French say c’est la vie. Shit happens.
But overall it has been a wonderful adventure where I learned so much about myself and life, and at the end I came through it wiser, tougher, more considerate and more tolerant, so these are good gains and lessons.
Moving from Sydney to Perth in September 1985 was stroke of genius, and moving to Fremantle in the early 1990s was pure brilliance as I love living in our beautiful little port city.
Fremantle taught me so much about community engagement and passion and yesterday’s huge Labor election win shows that the enormous Roe 8 people power movement made a big difference and that politicians who ignore the people will be punished. There is an important message for the elected members of the City of Fremantle in that as well.
The good thing about integration in a new culture is that it does not come at the cost of losing one’s identity and culture and while I became an Australian citizen in 1985 much of me will always remain Dutch as the education I received and the values instilled in me in the Netherlands will be with me forever.
Respecting people and being compassionate was something my parents showed me daily, and that being generous and honest and standing up for people less fortunate are good things. They are beautiful values to have.
I love people and the Fremantle community is my family. They are the people I want to look after and support and while I have failed dismally on a few occasions I have always tried my best.
Fremantle has given me a deep sense of belonging and a purpose that is much more than just surviving and earning money. It has taught me that looking after the community one lives in and supporting positive change can make a real difference and that doing that is very rewarding.
I don’t have all that many years left in life but as long as I can do it I will try to help make Fremantle and even better place to live and love in.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of my Aussie life so far. It has been a mind-blowing journey!
Check out the new on-line FREMANTLE SHIPPING NEWS magazine: http://fremantleshippingnews.com.au. I think it is very good and a great addition to local Freo media.
It’s not just about the port and maritime issues but about Fremantle lifestyle, food, heritage, architecture, art, etc.
FSN aims to be an online magazine about today’s Fremantle, with content and imagery provided, as much as possible, by interested locals.
The idea for the magazine was born out of daily drives past Fremantle Port and admiring and wondering about the activity of the coming and going ships.
The magazine is run by Fremantle local Michael Barker with assistance from local designers Superminimal, a number of Freo volunteer writers and photographers.
They welcome contact from anyone who would like to contribute to the magazine.
They have a subscribe button at the bottom of the webpage. Subscibers will receive an email notifying them of new articles.
FSH also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fremantleshippingnews/ which will promote new content and an instagram page https://www.instagram.com/fremantleshippingnews/ which will feature shipping and ‘Seen in Freo’ images.
For those interested in alternative living projects the Exploring Tiny Houses in Fremantle – and Different ways of Living Tiny is a good way to connect with like-minded people, network and share ideas.
Join Fremantle Councillor Rachel Pemberton – back from her recent trip to Europe – plus other expert panelists for a discussion and presentation of examples by local people who are pioneering a new phase of modest housing in Fremantle.
Its on Thursday March 2nd at the Fremantle Library from 6pm-7:30pm.
In times of a lack of really affordable housing, homeless people, a fast ageing population, and many mature singles and students looking for small living options, local councils should do more to explore options and find ways of alternative living.
I have a lot of respect for the opinion of architect and urban planner Dr Linley Lutton, who used to be on the City of Fremantle’s Design Advisory Committee until he resigned from it, so I was very interested to read Lutton’s article about infill and density in the POST community newspapers.
Dr Lutton argues that the WA government push for higher density and infill is not working and is outdated and that apartments are the least preferred living options in Perth. He also writes that apartments can’t be adapted and are not family friendly, but that the biggest housing demand by 2031 will be for families and not singles and couples.
The random erection of ugly and big buildings in town centres also worries the city planner and he writes that it is not true that Perth is more low density than other capital cities. In fact we are at similar levels of density as Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane and not far from that in Melbourne.
While high density is often pushed in older character suburbs it is hard to understand why the WA State Government does not insist on higher density in new suburbs where people are still mainly building one and two storey houses and no apartment blocks or town houses.
The urban myth that people are abandoning their cars is also not supported by facts with tens of thousands abandoning public transport even when they live near public transport, according to government figures.
Linley Lutton says that higher density apartment living can work well, but planners need to take into account that ‘culturally rich street life’ and work opportunities are essential for successful highrise living.
As I and others have often argued the success of city planning and new development is dependent on understanding what the community wants and needs. There is a need for better and more intense collaboration between planning experts and the community, starting as early as possible in the process, so that community opinion is not being dismissed as negative, reactive, NIMBY and anti-development.
I am personally very happy that so much new development is happening in Fremantle and much more planned, but we need to actively discourage ugly, boring, mediocre new buildings ‘designed’ by lazy architects who have no respect for Fremantle’s unique character.
While the urban sprawl is not sustainable the indiscriminate infill targets for older character suburbs also lack reality and need to be reconsidered.
A big crane is going up this Saturday at the six-storey LIV Defence Housing apartment project at Queen Victoria Street.
This is a significant milestone for Fremantle and one we should not underestimate.
There are people, like I, who are not impressed with a lot of the new architecture developers propose for Fremantle, and there are those, including myself, who believe a lot of the design of new buildings here is uninspiring, uninspired and mediocre.
But not withstanding that the historic and economic significance of all the new development in Fremantle should give us all hope for a more exciting and vibrant future for our city.