City of Perth launches bold City Planning Strategy vision that would transform our capital

City of Perth launches bold City Planning Strategy vision that would transform our capital

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

The council strategy vows to boost diversity by attracting families, students, the elderly and social housing.

A high-rise primary school, a train station apartment development and six villages connected by underground mass transit are part of a bold vision for Perth.

City of Perth’s inaugural City Planning Strategy seeks to strengthen the capital as WA’s economic, social, cultural and civic centre.

The strategy says residential growth must be the council’s core objective if it is to meet infill targets of 15,910 new dwellings by 2050.

The local member for Perth, John Carey, praised the council’s new focus on population, but said any change must be financed by private enterprise, rather than the public purse.

“If we want vibrancy, if we want a night-time economy, if we want support for small business, if we want foot traffic, if you want more buzz, we need more people in the city,” he said.

“This is a signal change for the City of Perth because under the old regime there wasn’t an acknowledgement for a city of neighbourhoods.”

The council strategy has identified six village-like neighbourhoods within the 14sqkm city area — Central Perth, Northbridge, East Perth, Claisebrook, West Perth and Crawley-Nedlands — and has vowed to boost diversity by attracting families, students, the elderly and social housing.

Perth Train Station, Western Australia

The plan calls for capital city agreements with the State Government to investigate infrastructure works, including future-proofing land for an underground transit system to link the six neighbourhoods to the metropolitan area.

It also wants to work with government to redesign the convention centre precinct, potentially making the venue bigger and including apartments, and to investigate moving the East Perth rail shunting yards and the “long-term opportunity to cap the railway line east of Perth train station ... to unlock redevelopment potential.”

The council has pegged these areas as future population growth precincts.

An agreement with the State Government would also be needed for the council’s call for a city primary school within five years — potentially in a high-rise in East Perth — and the possibility of a secondary school in the long run.

The strategy forecasts the city could accommodate 15,200 to 18,550 new dwellings. The growth areas have been identified east of Beaufort Street, particularly around Claisebrook and McIver train stations, and also around Wellington Square and Queens Gardens.

Elizabeth Quay, Perth Western Australia

It plans for dense living around City West train station and along King’s Park Road, south of the QEII Medical Centre in Nedlands and Crawley and around the convention centre at Elizabeth Quay.

The plan would address congestion that would come with extra residents, with car-free zones in some parts of Northbridge on Friday and Saturday nights, and an extension of areas were carparking bays were not required.

William Street cnr of James Street, Western Australia

This could lead to more apartments built without car bays, such as the Paragon building on Hay Street. The plan calls for possibly extending ferry services to Waterbank, Point Fraser and to the University of WA, and for extra CAT buses, particularly around McIver and Claisebrook train stations.

It wants better cycle networks, and will consider an east-west cycle route along St Georges Terrace, Mounts Bay Road and Wellington Street, and north-south along Victoria Avenue to McIver station.

Consulting firm Urbis’ associate director Sean Morrison said the strategy provided a foundation for investment, redevelopment and planning. He praised the focus on population, pedestrians and cyclists. “There are three solutions to many of the city’s problems — people, people and people,” Mr Morrison said.

“The great cities of the world are those which are a great place to live. The City has acknowledged that better streets, better connectivity across the inner city, more distinct neighbourhoods and more facilities (like schools) are the key ingredients to enabling this growth.”

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