We're just over a week into the official campaign and I thought that I'd take a moment to draw breath and summarise a few of the key points from topics I’ve covered in posts so far. This list is not intended to be all encompassing, but rather a kind of distillation of some of the ideas that I’ve discussed most recently.
A few key points from my posts to date
• I believe it’s vital for Fremantle’s long term success that attention is given to achieving small wins as well as big ones. There are multitudes of ways our spaces can be maximised in the short term with some place making initiatives, whilst we wait the decade or more necessary for the promise of the Economic Development Strategy to be realised.
• Traders can double as fantastic place makers. Reducing the type of red tape that suffocates innovation and creativity would make it easier for Freo’s retailers to introduce new initiatives and make our city more attractive for visitors and locals alike.
• Anti-social behaviour is a big problem for many Fremantle residents and traders. There are many options available for better dealing with this complex issue, and targeted place making initiatives would be a good start in certain trouble spots.
• Likewise, more could be done to improve parking. Better signage of existing parking would be a relatively quick, easy and effective way to maximise what we have. Expanding cycling facilities and advocating for public transport improvements in the medium term would also be a positive.
• I believe that with community engagement, timing is everything. Consulting the community early on in the lifecycle of a project would enable the views of community members to be better taken into account, and make the process less adversarial.
• Getting the balance right between focusing on economics and planning for people is imperative. Our city centre should include great social spaces as well as shops – it would be mutually beneficial for both traders and the community if Freo creates public spaces where people go to ‘meet friends, listen to music, learn, entertain and be entertained by their kids, take part in civic life and much more’, in the words of Julian Dobson.
Watch this space for my thoughts on heritage and development, getting more people living in the city centre, and more.