Freo's View

FINDING SMALL ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF LIVING

Posted in fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living by freoview on February 16, 2017

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.

Roel Loopers

ECOBURBIA DOCO ON URBAN SOLUTIONS

Posted in ecoburbia, environment, fremantle by freoview on February 8, 2017

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.

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HIGH DENSITY NOT THE SOLUTION

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, planning by freoview on February 5, 2017

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.

Roel Loopers

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LIV DEVELOPMENT REACHES FOR THE SKY

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development by freoview on February 4, 2017

liv

 

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.

Roel Loopers

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TINY HOUSES RECREATING COMMUNITIES

Posted in fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living by freoview on January 30, 2017

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

IS HOUSING BECOMING UNAFFORDABLE?

Posted in development, fremantle, housing, lifestyle, property by freoview on January 24, 2017
LIV residential development with Heirloom apartments in the background.

LIV residential development with Heirloom apartments in the background.

 

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.

Roel Loopers

ICONIC HEIRLOOM BEAUTY FOR FREMANTLE

Posted in architecture, building, development, fremantle by freoview on January 18, 2017

 

heirloom

Delighted to see the Heirloom by Match residential development of the historic former Dalgety Woolstores at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street. It was the first time in years this morning that there was no scaffolding around it.

What a beautiful iconic entry statement to our city it is!

Roel Loopers

WHITE GUM VALLEY WVG PROGRESS

Posted in architecture, building, city of fremantle, development by freoview on December 15, 2016

 

The WGV Baugruppen demonstration project at the former Kim Beazley School site in White Gum Valley is well underway.

The innovative sustainable medium density residential site in Fremantle will be using renewable green energy and aims to create an affordable community.

I took a couple of photos there on Wednesday to show a bit of the progress of the development.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S EAST END FACELIFT

Posted in architecture, development, fremantle by freoview on December 6, 2016

liv-apartments

 

Very good news to hear that the building of the huge LIV apartment development opposite the just completed Heirloom by Match building at Queen Victoria Street in Fremantle’s East End will start this week.

Defence Housing Australia announced the Georgiou Group has won the tender and has been appointed the $ 61 million building contract for the former Toyota dealership site.

The building will have 166 apartments with street level commercial areas and will change the face of the unattractive East End of Fremantle and become a modern gateway to the city.

Roel Loopers

 

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HERITAGE AND DENSITY NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, councils, development, heritage by freoview on November 23, 2016

After my previous post about the Atwell Arcade development and previous posts about my objections to the Notre Dame University proposal for the West End, and my reservations about the height of the Quest Hotel, and the general lack of creativity of new buildings in Fremantle’s CBD, it is interesting to read in the West Australian today the opinion of heritage architect Philip Griffiths, who spoke at a Future Bayswater forum.

Griffiths told the audience that respecting heritage and promoting local development are not mutually exclusive, and mentioned the City of Fremantle as a local government that got a lot smarter about preserving heritage while encouraging well-designed density. I believe the well-design part of that sentence is controversial as Freo is mainly getting mediocrity in design.

Heritage is a reason to be careful about how we develop because we don’t want to create a sterile town, but it is not a reason not to do anything, the architect said. That should be a very important consideration for the City of Fremantle because so far we are getting boring new buildings!

According to the Property Council of WA there is strong support for medium and higher-density apartments near public transport hubs and in the inner city.

I personally have no issue with higher-density in appropriate locations around Fremantle and in the east CBD but somehow we need to give more power to the Design Advisory Panel, and planning rules need to address the visual impact of new buildings better, so that we can get very good and outstanding buildings, not the bland and boring ones that are being built and proposed now.

Creating a new modern part in inner city Fremantle is in my opinion desirable as it means many more people will live in the CBD and that will encourage new traders, bars, etc to open up shop and make Freo more vibrant, but we need to get great architecture!

Roel Loopers

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