GOOD PLANNING WORKS WONDERS
TO give credit where credit is undoubtedly due, the new owners of the Forrestfield Forum complex have over the past two years transformed this central focus of community activity out of all recognition from a community perspective.
It is now a bright, welcoming shopping centre that is both visually and functionally welcoming and its smart, colourful presentation is inviting and with obviously enhanced ‘sociability’.
The increased variety of mainly open-frontage retail premises, from the many small retail outlets to the large supermarkets, makes the overall experience of shopping and lingering there now a genuine pleasure.
Communal sociability is encouraged, not least by the very spacious new Dome cafe opened a couple of weeks ago, but also by the many small internal design co-ordination features.
A shaded children’s play area now links what used to be two separate and rather drab groups of stores. This refreshing initiative, that some might describe in new populist terms as a ‘commu- nity hub’, works well because it has obviously benefited conceptually from professional architectural input.
This sort of design/planning initiative that thoughtfully analyses the purposes people naturally have in their daily lives and provides relevant facilities in a pleasant environment to help them to socialise is obviously sorely needed, for instance in Kalamunda and Lesmurdie, where unimaginative community-disengaged ‘statutory planning’ alone has so far prevailed.
The Kalamunda district (‘village’) centre has in contrast, for example, recently descended into functionally and visually uncoordinated anti-social chaos, with buildings of all shapes, sizes and purposes mixed together, only relieved by
PO Box 352, Midland WA 6936 or 12, Old Great Northern Highway, Midland 9237 1900 email@example.com the recent transitory weekend markets and poorly located parking.
Hopefully, however, some creatively attractive and intelligently designed ‘community hub’ concept may emerge in the new Forrestfield North development next to the new railway station, expected by 2020.