Experts plan to give Perth more 'buzz'
Planning experts, urban developers and academics from the United States, Europe and Australia will share their ideas on making Perth more liveable at an international conference this week in Fremantle, from July 6 - 8.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the conference, on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), was the first of its kind to be held in Australia.
It would be important in helping to produce a practical strategy for developing TOD projects.
"Transit-Oriented Developments are compact, socially mixed and active communities with shops, offices, a range of medium-density houses and apartments that cluster around transport corridors or hubs," Ms MacTiernan said.
"These communities are easy to walk around, have attractive streetscapes and landscaped open spaces and are within a 10-minute walk of a transit centre - a bus or rail station.
"We want to make Perth the most liveable city in the world. To achieve that we need to reduce our dependence on cars and create more 'buzz' through lively urban centres with diverse activities and house types. TOD will help deliver that."
The Minister said it was appropriate that the conference was being held in Perth, because WA led the rest of Australia in shaping and implementing this emerging form of urban development.
A conference field trip will take delegates to some excellent examples of TOD, including sites in Subiaco, East Perth, Armadale and Midland.
The State Government believes in integrated planning of land use and transport, not just for economic efficiency, but also resulting in better housing choices, better social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, and improved access to jobs, recreation and other opportunities.
"A major impetus for TOD is the New MetroRail project linking the Perth CBD to Mandurah, Australia's fastest growing town," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The right type of development along this rail corridor will maximise its value and have widespread community benefits.
"Another impetus is the Network City plan, which is a plan for an organic, interactive city developed on transport activity corridors."
The Minister said conference organiser PATREC, the Planning and Transport Research Centre, was part of WA's integrated approach to planning.
The centre had brought together the academic capacity of all four WA universities to carry out research and provide post-graduate education.
"The aims of this conference are to better understand the factors that make TOD work well for our communities, and how to make that happen even more effectively and quickly," Ms MacTiernan said.
"We have made a good start in WA, but there is a long way to go to achieve significant results for the State."