Freo's View

CITY PLANNING-MAKE YIMBYs OUT OF NIMBYs

 

Interesting to read that the City of Bayswater won the Planning Institute of Australia Planning Excellence Award 2018 for public engagement.

Bayswater invited 200 community groups and all residents to participate in a five-month community consultation process with focus groups, on-line participation, working groups, etc.

Well before planners and councillors put pen to paper about city planning projects the community was consulted in-depth about what type of buildings, what height and what set-backs they preferred in their suburbs.

There was also a conference in Melbourne a few weeks ago where planning experts expressed that councils should make YIMBYs out of NIMBYs by engaging much earlier with the public, so that community reaction would not be negative because people felt they are not being consulted.

It is one of the issues I have talked and written about, even in the days long back when I was the president of the Fremantle Society.

If council and developers engaged the community in the very early stages of development a lot of time and money could be saved, because it would be clear from the start what the community will accept and what development proposals they find unacceptable and will fight, all the way to SAT and the WAPC if that is required.

Fremantle Council and our developers should learn from Bayswater, as the development process can be sped up while creating better outcomes at the same time.

Well done City of Bayswater!

Roel Loopers

LIV ART OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Posted in art, city of fremantle, property, real estate, residential, Uncategorized by freoview on November 5, 2018

 

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I had a whinge yesterday about the Piazza gates being closed at the LIV apartments in Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets, but it appears that is only happening on weekends, as the gates were open today.

It finally gave me the opportunity of photographing the fantastic Rick Vermey artwork from different angles.

Roel Loopers

SHARING ART IS GENEROUS AND BEAUTIFUL

Posted in architecture, art, city of fremantle, city planning, culture, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2018

 

 

I was surprised to get a few negative comments about the mural artwork on the corner of Stevens and Brennan streets in Fremantle. I am yet to hear strong community protest against visual pollution such as signs all over the place, so what irks people about art along our streets?

Some people believe that individual home owners have no right to impose their art and taste on the community, and they argue that if people want these murals they should do it on the inside of the wall, or inside their house, but not where it is visible to the general public. I disagree with that.

Since humans started building structures others have had that imposed on them, be that bad architecture, ridiculous colour schemes, or garden gnomes, lions, etc.

And where would we stop if we legislated against murals and other art on private properties?  Should we ban businesses as well from beautifying their walls, and is it acceptable to have public art inflicted on us? What about bus shelters and railway stations?

Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that most people understand what crappy amateur art is, compared to good professional art, and the artwork in Brennan Street is the latter.

Roel Loopers

FREO SUSTAINABLE HOME EXPO

Posted in city of fremantle, home, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2018

 

 

The Sustainable Home Expo is still on this Sunday from 10am to 4pm in the Fremantle High Street Mall. Look for the former Mountain Design shop next to the travel agent, opposite Culley’s.

Roel Loopers

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FREO SUSTAINABLE HOUSE EXPO

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, home, housing, lifestyle, living, Uncategorized by freoview on September 12, 2018

 

Fremantle will be showcasing the best of innovation and excellence in sustainable housing in a series of events being held in conjunction with Sustainable House Day this weekend.

“I’m very excited that sustainable apartments will be open for the first time in WA with the Liv, Evermore and SHAC developments open for viewing for Sustainable House Day on 16 September,” said event organiser Rachel Pemberton. 

Mayor Brad Pettitt will open his home which has recently undergone a sustainable makeover.

The Expo includes a series of talks, an exhibition and a drop-in session where people can talk to trades people and professional experts about progressing your own sustainable home project. Details of each event are below.

Be inspired and informed about the many ways you can incorporate sustainability into your home by getting along to the Freo Sustainable Home Expo in the High Street Mall. It is on Thursday and Friday from 12-4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

All events are free events are free, but registrations are essential. 

For more information visit sustainablehouseday.com/freo-expo/

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FREO LIV APARTMENTS NEARING COMPLETION

 

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All the scaffolding around the LIV apartment building in Fremantle’s Queen Victoria and Quarry streets have now come down, so I had another good look at the massive development.

I still do not like the monotonous long facade along Queen Victoria Street and also don’t like the design along Quarry Street very much.

Strangely, for this self-proclaimed architecture expert, the very modern south side of Queen Victoria Street, which overlooks Fremantle Park, works the best. The big and  high windows create a lightness that I would have liked to see duplicated at Quarry Street.

The Rick Vermey public artwork in the piazza is a stunning feature that will attract many art lovers.

The Defence Housing LIV is due to open this month, so check the media, or better even Freo’s View, for when it will be open to the public to have a look at.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE OVAL PRECINCT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY

 

Integrated into the heart of Fremantle, the vision for the Fremantle Oval Precinct is to re-establish and offer an active venue for sport, community, cultural and health pursuits.

Work on creating a concept for Fremantle Oval and the surrounding areas is underway with the City of Fremantle having established a Steering Group and a Reference Group.

The Steering Group consists of three directors of the City, the CEO of the South Metro Health Service and the Manager City Design and Projects of CoF.

The Reference Group is very large with three Elected Members,  the Area Manager Infrastructure of South Metro Health, a representative from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Culture, The CEOs of the South and East Fremantle football clubs, the President of the Fremantle District Cricket Club, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the University of Notre Dame, and three managers of the City of Fremantle. WOW, they must have veeeery looooong meetings so that everyone can have their say!

And what is it all about?

1. CONNECT WITH THE SURROUNDS

The precinct is re-established in a way that integrates its internal uses with one another as well as reconnecting the precinct into the fabric of the city centre.

2. CONSOLIDATES A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

Develop and enhance the precinct in a manner that consolidates and increases sporting activities on the Oval as the primary use and as a Centre of Excellence for football, while respecting the heritage of the precinct.

3. BRINGS ADDED PUBLIC LIFE

Augment sporting uses at the venue with entertainment, cultural events and community activities that bring added public access and life to the precinct.

4. ENABLES REGENERATION AND INTEGRATION

Consolidate health activities on the hospital site; enabling regeneration and improved integration with the surrounding city.

5. IMPROVES PUBLIC ACCESS

Develop key perimeter sites that improve public accessibility and increase pedestrian activity at ground level, throughout the year.

6. BALANCES TRANSPORT ACCESS

Enable a balanced portfolio of transport access arrangements to the precinct.

and there is more:

PUBLIC OPEN SPACE

Provide Open, Green Space for a Healthy City

Ensure the precinct provides open and green spaces for access by city workers, residents and visitors.

Reveal and Visually Connect the Precinct

Key views, vistas and links are established, protected and celebrated.

BUILT FORM

Optimise Activity through Appropriately Scaled Development

Ensure development opportunities optimise activities / density through appropriate height, mass and setbacks.

Respond to the Environment

Seek excellence in design and aesthetics; develop in a fashion that is responsive to local environmental conditions and sustainability principles.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

Integrate into Fremantle’s Historic Urban Fabric

Where practical, extend the urban grid of the city into the precinct to improve legibility and urban integration, whilst acknowledging the historical informal and open nature of the precinct.

Celebrate Heritage and History

Understand, reveal, enhance and interpret the unique heritage attributes of the precinct and its context.

MOVEMENT AND TRANSPORT

Invite People In

Improve pedestrian access, permeability and sense of safety across the precinct and along adjoining streets.

Create Good Journeys

Enhance physical connections between the precinct, prison and town.

What appears to be missing are some creative people; architects, artists, placemakers, and also yet again no attempt to involve community groups from the beginning, so yet again they will have to be reactive and that often results in the groups being criticised for being negative.

When will they ever learn at local government that it is advantageous to involve members of the community from the very start because it means a lot less hassles when it comes to planning issues, etc.

The Fremantle Oval Precinct is a huge opportunity for the City of Fremantle and while they mention a time frame of 20-30 years for the development this one is more realistic and achievable than the South Quay development ideas.

Roel Loopers

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FRIENDS OF ROYAL GEORGE AGAINST HIGHRISE

 

 

The news that The Friends of Royal George community group has been established in East Fremantle makes sense as it is always important for state government agencies to be aware of the feelings in the community, even when East Fremantle Council’s Royal George scheme amendment only allows for six storey buildings in the area.

Saracen Properties wants to build a slim 15 storey tower on top of a four storey podium, but it is unlikely JDAP or SAT would approve that under the present local scheme.

People point out that a state agency approved 16 storeys on the former Subiaco market site, but that is very different from the East Freo proposal. The Subi site is only metres away from the train station and bus transport and that does not apply to the East Fremantle location that is miles away from the Fremantle railway station and not that close to other forms of public transport either.

While I personally quite like the elegant tall spike designed by Michael Patroni’s spaceagency and do believe a landmark highrise would be appropriate in that location, I also believe that the 19 storey proposal does not adequately address the urban infill requirements of the state government.

When we impose very high buildings on a low rise community the main purpose of the development should be to create many new homes for many people, and not as is the case at the Royal George a mere 40 apartments for a few selected well off on 15 floors.

I am not sure if Saracen Properties will present their proposal to JDAP or come up with a much lower building. The architects told me some weeks ago that they are still looking at it on the computer.

Roel Loopers

 

AGEING POPULATION IMPACTS ON ECONOMY

Posted in aged, city of fremantle, economy, health, hospitality, retail, seniors, Uncategorized by freoview on July 23, 2018

 

The media reports that the Western Australian economy has bounced back is positive, but the reasons for the closure of many hospitality outlets and the downturn in retail sales is always only ever explained with internet shopping and the mining bust. Not one expert opinion I have read considers that the fast ageing population is also a reason for people spending less money on non essential items.

Just in Fremantle I know several people whose life has changed since they went on the government pension, because they simply no longer have the money to socialise with friends in pubs and restaurants. Some tell me they can’t even afford to entertain at home, because cooking a meal for friends might cost 50% of the money of their weekly food expenditure.

Many of the pensioners I talk to say they mis no longer going to live theatre plays, concerts and events, because there is not enough money in the kitty, and even going to the hairdresser, especially for women, requires to save it from something else.

A ‘cheap’ $ 20 breakfast or $ 35 dinner in a nice cafe or restaurant are beyond their reach, so they feel on the scrap heap of society, where no one really cares how they are surviving and what their quality of life is.

The government pension does not keep up with the constantly increasing costs of just about everything, but that does not appear to be an issue for our political parties. Once one pays rent, telephone, internet and for the car, there is very little left for food, and hardly ever enough for a meal and glass of wine somewhere nice. Even doctors’ visits need to be kept to a minimum because most GPs don’t bulk bill any more, hence far too many old people use the free service at the emergency departments at our public hospitals.

It is an outrage that many old people live in cold homes in winter because they don’t have enough money to pay for gas and power, and it is an even greater outrage that thousands of people sleep on the streets of our cities.

The very fast ageing of the Australian population is very real, and it does affect the economy, so it is time for our politicians to start preparing for a future where over fifty per cent of the population will be over 60 years old. It is even more tangible and imminent than global warming, so it is time to change the priorities a bit and start looking after our older people a whole lot better.

Roel Loopers

 

Henty's

FREMANTLE LIV DESIGN WITHOUT LOV

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development, Uncategorized by freoview on July 10, 2018

 

 

If the LIV apartment buildings at Queen Victoria and Quarry Street, due to open in August, are the heritage of the future for Fremantle than God save the Queen.

To paraphrase Wilson Churchill; we will fight bad architecture at Council house, on the streets and on the beaches, and we will fight inappropriate development in the local and state government offices and on election days.

The mediocre boredom and bland sameness of LIV is an insult to Fremantle’s unique heritage character. It’s LIV without LOV.

Fremantle deserves much much better!

Roel Loopers

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