Freo's View

HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE FREMANTLE GREEN PLAN

Posted in city of fremantle, green plan, local government, nature by freoview on November 4, 2015
Smoke haze at the Swan River.

Smoke haze at the Swan River.

The City of Fremantle’s draft GREEN PLAN is out for community input so make sure to download it from the COF website and put submissions in to make it a really good plan to protect and enhance our public green spaces, increase our city’s essential tree canopy, create more small green lingering nodes all over Fremantle, protect established mature trees from demolition through new development, etc.

Here is some of what the Green Plan says:

The 2020 Green Plan provides the background, rationale and framework to deliver projects and programs over the next five years. Key initiatives and targets include:

 Every resident and worker to be within walkable distance to public open space.  Progressively increase tree canopy across the city to achieve up to 20% by 2020.  Design adaptable open space that allows for future flexibility as the community and open space function and needs change over time.  Planning for future water security to identify opportunities for best available water sources for existing and new open space.  Develop links that increase the amount of flora/vegetation and increase habitats for native fauna and encourage their movement between green spaces and to increase and improve biodiversity areas.

Key projects over the next five years include:  Investigation and identification for accessing public open space in the priority areas of Hilton, O’Connor, White Gum Valley and Beaconsfield.  Investigation and identify options to improve and/or expand public open space is proximity to future high density areas.  Undertaking an Urban Forest Strategy to manage and guide tree and vegetation population across the public and private realm, to increase canopy and biodiversity and to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.  Undertaking water demand modelling to inform future fit for purpose water supply options.  Prepare landscape concept plans for green links and develop a biodiversity plan.

Public submissions closing date is November 11, so participate and be part of the solutions!

Roel Loopers

URBAN DESIGN IMPORTANT FOR WELLBEING

Posted in environment, fremantle, urban design by freoview on October 25, 2014

I am very interested in urban design because I believe that if we get that part of developing our cities right it will create a better lifestyle and better health, so it was interesting to hear the concerns about “Urban Heat Islands” on ABC TV last night.

Urban Heat Islands are the areas in cities that have an elevation of temperatures compared to the areas directly adjacent to them and can add up to six degrees to an area. It is often a result of urban design problems, e.g. not enough urban green open space and insufficient trees.

But the colour of roofs and walls of buildings are also important, with dark colours a big no-no in warmer climates like Fremantle. It is important to build more solar-passive houses and enlarge the tree canopy, and there is the need for more green vegetation that is supported by irrigation.

It was interesting to hear that the City of Sao Paulo in Brazil has added 200 square kilometres of green space over the last years to fight pollution and improve the health of the residents. This should be a lesson for Fremantle where we are losing green space and trees and are contemplating to build on Pioneer Park, when we should really be adding new green open spaces in the central city.

In this light the following from the University of Canberra is also important, so please do the survey as it will help all of us to better understand.

The University of Canberra has launched an Urban Wellbeing Survey that is focussed on collecting and providing information about wellbeing and way of life in Australia’s most populous cities.

This survey is distinctive because it covers much more than health and wellbeing; it also covers factors that can have a big effect on wellbeing, such as travel, access to services, community wellbeing and social connectedness.

Here is a summary of what it covers:
§ Socio-demographic characteristics
§ Walkable urban design
§ Travel behaviours and attitudes
§ Building comfort in work and home
§ Access to and quality of amenities and services
§ Neighbourhood cohesion, governance & safety
§ Social participation, inclusion and exclusion
§ Physical activity
§ Connectedness, efficacy and marginalisation
§ Mental health and wellbeing
§ Physical health and health behaviours

The survey is open now through November at: http://www.urbanwellbeing.org.au. Anyone over 18 can do it and can enter the prize draw if they want to. We also have a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/urbanwellbeing.org.au.

The Urban survey is being conducted in tandem with the Regional Wellbeing Survey which covers all of regional, rural and remote Australia, as well as the rural-urban fringe: http://www.regionalwellbeing.org.au.

The urban and regional versions of the survey are linked so that people can choose whether they go into the urban or regional version when they begin the survey based on where they live.

Roel Loopers

FREO’S WALLS OF GARDENS

Posted in fremantle by freoview on April 15, 2013

I like vertical gardens and am pleased to see the City of Fremantle has been creating more of them in the Green Skins project, after the initial start at Kings Square. There are now two more on the walls of the Target building,one in the Westgate mall and the other one at the bus stop in Cantonment Street. While it is pleasing to see wall gardens going up, I hope to see bigger and more impressive ones soon, as they are all a bit too small for my liking.

Roel Loopers

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