A blog about Fremantle, urban planning and placemaking by a town planning geek interested in cooking, history, politics and sport.
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Getting to know Scheme Amendment 49: 'The Why'
This post is a little like a first date. There has been so much said about proposed Scheme Amendment 49 since it was initiated by Council, that I've decided to block out all the static and show the amendment a little bit of love in an effort to get to know it better. Firstly, let's get the formalities out of the way:
Advertising finishes on 7 December 2011.
The best way to find the scheme amendment documentation is to get Google to do the work for you by typing in "scheme amendment 49 city of fremantle" and it'll save you the time and frustration of searching the City's website.
Why? For me the answer is simple. Because Freo needs it...more specifically the eastern end of our city centre is crying out for it. Go to the intersection of Market Street and Cantonment Street and start walking towards Clancy's Fish Pub. Walk about 50 metres and you'll come to my building: the old 'Woodsons Building'. It needs a good lick of paint but other than that it is a good example of what is possible if we revitalise Freo the right way. A mixed use building with thirty six differently sized apartments. Across the road is a beautiful...car park. Opportunity lost. Skip the ultra bland office building at the intersection of Cantonment and Queen (another opportunity lost - how was that building approved without a residential component?) and depending on the time of day we begin the 'East End shuffle' (for those of you who aren't familiar with this shuffle, it is associated with the head-down-avoiding-the-attention-of-the-drunks gait). I've noticed that there is an exponential relationship between the need to start the 'East End shuffle' and the buildings in this part of Freo. Buildings such as the Target building, the Westgate Mall (waiting to catch a bus outside the old Spotlight store must feel a little like being in the middle of a boxing match), and last but certainly not least that ode to East German 1970s Stasi style architecture, the Point Street car park. These buildings are just plain ugly and, to their lasting detriment, they have failed to become places. In my three and a half years living in the centre of Freo I don't recall ever needing to do a 'West End shuffle'. For me 'the why' for this amendment has to be about getting rid of the need for an 'East End shuffle' and creating some great, vibrant and people-friendly places in the eastern end of our city centre.