Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHA 30 Spring 2011 Contents HOMES & ART SPRING 2011 101
Planning ahead | The Village Life
he Australian dream of a suburban
home on a quarter-acre block has
exerted a powerful influence over
our society for almost a century.
Our cities are defined by an endless sprawl
of suburbs as we scramble to acquire our
own patch of paradise with a white picket
fence, double lock-up garage and
landscaped backyard. So great is the
north-south sprawl it almost seems
Joondalup and Kwinana are connected
only by television reception.
The times, however, seem to be
changing. We’re logged on and
hard-wired into the pulse of global
trends, and as a sophisticated society,
demand flexibility in the way we live.
Visitors to Australia, whether
tourists, students or businesspeople,
expect a level of inner-city convenience
and lifestyle choice commensurate with
the most progressive cities in the world.
Their expectations are now mirrored
within our own culture.
While suburban homes are perfect for
growing families, a new and evolving
Australian workforce requires a range of
lifestyle options previously unavailable.
Single fly-i n-fly-out workers want a
place they can lock and leave; secure, low
maintenance and close to all amenities.
Restrictions on space and budgets, and
an acknowledgement of the increasingly
busy pace of life, are leading to the
development of city ‘living quarters’
and urban villages noted for designs
that include internal gardens, plazas
and recreational and cultural facilities.
Innovation is also happening with
the introduction of shared pools of
cars and scooters at some developments,
and residential buildings serviced by
restaurants, allowing apartments to
be purchased with or without kitchens.
It’s a matter of choice.
Richard Weller, Professor of Landscape
Architecture at the University of Western
Australia, says these innovations are
an important step in successf ul urban
development, and signal a return to a
true sense of community.
“As residential precincts are built in
and around the city, there will be a new
movement towards shared resources. If the
developments are close to efficient public
transport and open public spaces, the
idea of shared vehicles, for instance, will
become more attractive. If you’ve got
Driven by the buoyant WA
economy, the regeneration of
Perth will do much to redress
the imbalance of city versus
suburb. Carefully planned
public spaces and a mix of
residential, leisure and retail
zones will draw people to a
city once thought of as dull.
In a few years we’ll have a city
beyond recognition, led by
visionary riverside and city link
developments, enriching the
lives of all West Australians.
WORDS Richard Murphy
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