A Tale of Two Cities


Urban renewal and growth are critical issues for Metropolitan Perth. Whether change is met by controversy and conflict or creativity and community building can depend on how it is undertaken.

This week the WAPC will consider a major residential development south of the river at Port Kennedy in the Rockingham region. Most of what is proposed in Port Kennedy is R30-40 with some medium density R60, meaning by and large average lots sized of around 300m2. 

“Once again, we are seeing community pushing back against higher densities, increased traffic and loss of open space,” said Dr Brad Pettitt, Mayor of Fremantle.  

“What is proposed for Port Kennedy is perhaps the dumbest kind of density imaginable, with blocks created too small to be able to fit in a decent tree but densities still too low to facilitate better public transport. This is the dumb density that is enabling the wiping out of urban tree canopy cover across Perth in a startling way and locking in a sea of roofs with barely a tree to be seen. 

Contrast this to recent development in the City of Fremantle in collaboration and partnership between DevelopmentWA, the Fremantle Council and the local community.

“At WGV, early consultation and collaboration saw a development in which diverse densities were supported and raised, greater open space and tree retention included and sustainable building design seeing it become a global exemplar for urban infill.” 

“Communities when treated with respect and taken on the planning journey will not be more likely to back in urban infill projects but they will be using local knowledge and aspirations make them better.” 

Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt has led a Council focused the sustainable revitalisation of the City of Fremantle over the past decade. While it has not been without controversy the City’s transformation is well underway.

Dr. Linda Blagg PhD documented the process and progress made by the city over the past decade as a PhD thesis and presents a documentary that tells the story of how Fremantle’s turn around was achieved.

A screening of “Freo’s 10 Year Turn Around” will be followed by a Q&A session is being hosted by University of Notre Dame and The Fremantle Network this Thursday 5 November. 

For an interview with Dr Brad Pettitt, Dr Linda Blagg or Dr Martin Drum (University of Notre Dame), contact media@wa.greens.org.au

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