Freo's View

LINLEY LUTTON: INFILL FAILS UNIQUE QUALITIES OF OUR CULTURE

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, Uncategorized by freoview on January 13, 2018

 

I came across an article published in September 2017 in The Conversation  by internationally renowned Perth city planner and architect Linley Lutton, who sadly died this week, and want to share some of Linley’s thoughts with you.

Lutton writes that retrofitting cities is poor planning, justified in the name of sustainability, and that the results are often substandard living environments that show no relationship to local content.

The dispersed city form means we have to work, sleep, shop and socialise in different parts of the city.

High-density living works well where streets are at human scale, buildings  are interesting and where there are plenty of public meeting spaces, but in Australia we build jam-packed home units with minimal public open space, Linley Lutton says.

That is the failure to understand the unique qualities of Australian culture and how people choose to live.

Lutton writes that recent research shows that the great majority of Australians reject apartment living and that the majority of those living in an apartment would not repeat the experience.

It is seriously questionable to randomly subjecting suburbs to high-rise apartments, and so is the public transport corridor argument, or building infill near suburban railway stations.

Public transport only works if people actually use it, but Bureau of Statistics figures show that in Perth less than 10% of those living within walking distance of a train station actually travel to work by train.

Linley Lutton writes that there are three essential requirements of a good city:

  • Cities must nurture and stimulate healthy human growth and community development.
  • Local communities must meaningful participate in city planning.
  • The unique cultural and physical context of a city must be respected.

 

These are all very important points to consider for Fremantle Council for its strategic infill targets and the introduction of buildings that are too high for our human-scale character city!

The funeral of Linley Lutton, a man I greatly respect and like, will be held this Monday January 15 at 3.30 pm at the Karrakatta Cemetery.

 

Roel Loopers

WEDDINGS AND TRAINS NOT A GOOD MARRIAGE

Posted in city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on November 28, 2017

 

train wedding

 

The West Australian reports today that the WA Public Transport Authority has warned wedding photographers that it is illegal and dangerous to take photos of married couple on railway tracks.

In Fremantle we see this happen many times during the week at the railway crossing in front of the Roundhouse,  and also where wedding parties and tourists stand in the centre of the road in High Street to have their photos taken with the gorgeous heritage buildings in the background.

In the world’s biggest nanny state one should also be aware that it is dangerous for married couple to get their photos taken with their feet in the Indian Ocean because of great white sharks, rips, surfers, etc.

Taking photos in WA at daytime could also result in sun burn and melanoma and the bloody flies are a nuisance as well.

It is dangerous to follow the directions of those  irresponsible wedding photographers and jump in the air or off things, because one could sprain an ankle or do other damage. It is a bloody dangerous world out there!

And having your photos taken while you are totally pissed ain’t a good look either. Just saying. ; >)

The safest location for wedding photos is to just stay at home, because once we leave that safe heaven harm could come to us. Be aware!

 

Roel Loopers

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT ART IN FREMANTLE

Posted in art, fremantle, public transport authority, Uncategorized by freoview on June 26, 2017

 

The PTA has commissioned a new Aboriginal artwork on a switchbox at Little High Street in Fremantle, after local residents requested the beautification of the area opposite the Roundhouse.

I have no idea who the artists are, so if anyone knows, let me know please so I can credit them.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE LIGHTRAIL NOT A PIPE DREAM

Posted in city of fremantle, lightrail, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on June 25, 2017

 

How nice to hear local councils in the Fremantle area working together for a change, instead of viewing each other as competition.

They could not agree on local government reform, council amalgamations and the Roe 8 highway, but now the South West Group of Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville, Kwinana, East Fremantle and Rockingham are planning ahead together for light rail, according to a report in today’s Sunday Times.

A Fremantle to Murdoch lightrail corridor is a high priority according to the report, but also a loop with Rockingham and the coast.

There is no doubt in my opinion that lightrail from Fremantle to Rockingham would be used extensively by locals and tourists alike and connect the two cities.

The South West Group report also considers lightrail from Fremantle to Canning Bridge and linking Cockburn and Fremantle.

Long-term planning by local councils for lightrail and traffic corridors is essential to pin point where new residential and commercial development should be encouraged so that planing schemes can be introduced to accommodate that.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Sunday Times that local councils had a role to play in planning transit systems as they would need to rezone areas for transport hubs.

Lightrail has been on Fremantle’s wish list for a long time but low residential figures make it difficult to build a sound business case for it. However the development boom in Fremantle and Cockburn and along to coast to Rockingham is starting to make lightrail a very good option for the not too distant future, and we need to plan for that now.

Roel Loopers

 

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT A PRIORITY

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, city planning, development by freoview on March 15, 2017

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.

Roel Loopers

BLUEPRINT FOR INFILL NEEDED IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, development, local government, planning, western australia by freoview on October 31, 2016

The building boom in Fremantle is good for our city I believe but it also requires long-term strategic planning and a blueprint for where in Fremantle infill should be considered in the next 25 years.

Just doing small planning scheme amendments for a few streets and masterplans for other areas is not good city planning, so the City of Fremantle should do a comprehensive study on where the appropriate locations for medium and high density in Fremantle are.

Developers, investors and home owners should be able to access City of Fremantle information that will show them that a certain street or suburb is earmarked for higher density so they don’t get a nasty shock surprise just after they have purchased property that a six-storey building or even higher could be built next to their two- storey home(s).

It would also assist the Public Transport Authority and other State Government agencies to plan ahead instead of the slow reactive planning that is happening too often.

While it is good to have masterplans for specific areas I believe it is essential to have an infill masterplan blueprint for the entire city, as only that is well-considered and detailed long-term planning.

Fremantle has many good potential development areas just outside the CBD that need to be considered for residential development, because inner city living has become unaffordable for many people. A tiny new one-bedroom apartment in the city centre starts at half a million dollars, so hopefully locations a fifteen-minute bike ride away from the CBD will be cheaper and more affordable to people on lower incomes.

Accommodation for students, artists, pensioners, low-wage earners, etc. need to be part of the residential mix in Fremantle or we might develop into a yuppy city for the well-off only. That would not be very Freo at all!

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on BLUEPRINT FOR INFILL NEEDED IN FREMANTLE

FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE STRENGTHENING

Posted in freight, fremantle, TRAFFIC, trains by freoview on October 25, 2016

The WA government is spending another $ 3 million on strengthening the Fremantle traffic bridge after it completed the fender system upgrade earlier this year.

Advanteering Civil Engineers has the contract to use specialist divers to repair and strengthen the 100 pilons under water. The work should be completed by May next year.

Roel Loopers

INFILL IS NOT GOOD EVERYWHERE

Posted in development, fremantle, housing, lifestyle, living, public transport, western australia by freoview on September 14, 2016

W.A. Planning Minister Donna Faragher’s statement that higher density is needed near train stations is not up to the high standards we expect of a Minister. Making broad sweeping statements is plain wrong and surely the state government in collaboration with local councils needs to find the best suitable areas near public transport to increase density and infill, instead of demanding higher density near all train stations.

Older unique character suburbs like Fremantle, Claremont and Subiaco, etc. would be destroyed if we just planted highrise buildings close to the train stations, while in other newer suburbs high density might actually improve the amenity.

Governments have this strange attitude that change needs to happen everywhere instead of targeting suitable suburbs for higher density living. It would also help if the state actually supported local councils which want to increase infill by improving public transport corridors and not just along the railway line where most older suburbs are.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on INFILL IS NOT GOOD EVERYWHERE

SPEED HUMP TSUNAMI IN FREMANTLE

I wonder when we will see a protest march by emergency services and bus drivers about the ever increasing speed humps and roundabouts in Fremantle.

At the F-POL Committee of the City of Fremantle it was announced that “plateaus” would be installed at Ord Street between Ellen Street and Queen Victoria Street to deter container truck drivers on the way to Fremantle Port from using the road.

Recently a ridiculous number of ugly and noisy speed humps were installed at East Street, but that is different from “plateaus” as the latter also are pedestrian crossings.

Speed humps of any kind make for a very uncomfortable journey and seriously slow down emergency vehicles, and many motorists will find alternative routes through suburban streets.

I am not sure why Hampton Road and Ord and can’t have a container truck ban, if the desired outcome is to get rid of these trucks.

Roel Loopers

COMMUNITY IDEAS CREATE LIVEABLE CITIES

We are not alone in Perth looking to create more liveable cities and slowing down the unsustainable urban sprawl. In the USA they call it New Urbanism and have basically come up with similar ideas as our communities and city planners have, such as:

Walkable access: mixed use neighbourhoods with pedestrian connections within a five-minute walk.

Higher density development: smaller lot size and multi-storey mixed-use structures.

Urban scale: buildings and roads facilitating connections between people.

Local parks: enhanced for accessible recreational activities and community meetings.

Traffic-calming transit designs: traffic circles for arterial intersections and dedicated bike paths.

Car-free zones: public spaces offering relief from carbon-monoxide pollution.

People-oriented public spaces: open areas, sidewalks, cafes and front porches to accommodate public life. 

To achieve the best outcomes it requires planning sessions where the community, designers and city planners and others collaborate on a vision for development. This provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving feedback before development starts instead of having negative community backlash after it has been implemented. More importantly, it empowers everyone who participates to take on ownership of the process.

I believe the process does not necessarily has to be initiated by local or state governments but could be organised by community groups, universities, architects, city planners,etc. Here in Fremantle a collaboration between the Fremantle Network and universities would be a great start as it would increase the participation of younger people who no doubt will want a say on how our future cities should look.

USA planners also are looking for decentralisation of the workforce with more government agencies and offices moving to the suburbs away from the city centric traffic congestion causing situation we have now.

City planning is not rocket science but it needs an integrated approach where local and state agencies pro-actively work together on long-term planning, instead of the ad-hoc approach we often see.

Roel Loopers

 

%d bloggers like this: