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!
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.
Fremantle’s Ecoburbia presents the movie: A Convenient Truth – Urban Solutions from Curbita Brazil. Friday February 10th. 7pm for a 7.30 start
This inspirational documentary shows a city where urban solutions are not just theory, but a reality. The film shows innovations in the areas of transportation, recycling, social benefits (affordable housing), parks, and the great philosophy behind the successful leaders that transformed Curitiba in a model green city.
This movie will be held at Ecoburbia – 16 Livingstone Street in Beaconsfield. It is outside and it can get chilly so dress appropriately. There is seating in the garden but feel free to bring a folding chair if you are more comfy – or some pillows.
Feel free to bring you dinner from 7pm The movie will start at 7.30pm.
Please walk or come by bike. If you have to drive please park at the Primary School on Hale Road, not on Beard Street.
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.
Fremantle resident Leanne McKenzie is passionate about Freo and alternative living and sees a need for innovative new ideas to deal with the fact that Fremantle is becoming more expensive and becoming less accessible to those on lower incomes.
Leanne believes that people who want to live in and be part of Fremantle should have diverse housing options available. She says “Fremantle is what it is because of passionate community minded people, so if this type of person wants to live here they should have access.“
She has years of experience with construction and renovations, and personal experience as owner builder renovating her Fremantle workers cottage on a very tight budget, and exactly how she needed it, but paying tribute to its humble origins.
Leanne says she took the decision to help the many others who struggle to get started extending and renovating their homes, and she has assembled an excellent team of designers, real estate professionals and trades to help guide others in taking the step.
“It is better reducing our ecological footprint, solar, thermal efficiencies etc. and upcycling our homes if practicable, rather than bowling over and starting from scratch.”
When Leanne McKenzie was told that her 90 sqm 3 bedroom home was too small for energy efficient hydronics systems, she decided to design one herself.
“I want to equip people with the information and processes so they can make informed designs about their renovations, incorporating new technology and not spend big dollars if they are not precisely sure what they want. We don’t need BIG to live happy, we need quality spaces that enhance our lives and connect us to our neighbourhoods.”
She is working to design a very special tiny house. “Mobility, ecological footprint, advanced technology is all part of our future for how we will live, but (re)connecting to our natural world, our neighbourhoods and communities is more important. This is what Fremantle does so well, and this should be accessible to all of us. “
For more detail contact Leanne.mckenzie@UrbanAesthetics.net.au
LiveLittle.com.au for more information on tiny house initiatives
While the LIV residential apartment project at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street is well under way, it is reported that Perth has one of the world’s least-affordable housing markets, according to property experts.
In a report published in the media today they state that house prices are more than six times the average income in Perth, which is $87,300.
According to Demographia, which compares housing affordability in cities of over one million population, Australia’s major problem is urban containment planning policies.
Urban containment, infill and higher density policies in WA try to reduce urban sprawl by encouraging more density rather than releasing new so-called greenfields sites. This often negatively affects older character suburbs where inappropriately high and often ugly buildings are destroying the urban amenity.
Housing experts say that high house prices are not a sign of a city’s success but a sign of failure to deliver the housing that its citizens need. Affordable housing is no doubt impacted by high property prices and that is an additional worry.