Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

SOME pro­pos­als and new build­ings in Kala­munda are be­ing ques­tioned in lo­cal news­pa­pers as be­ing out of char­ac­ter not be­fit­ting a “vil­lage".

That char­ac­ter has emerged from small and hu­man scale in all the build­ing el­e­ments of what has ex­isted, pre­sent­ing a busy, yet friendly and en­tirely un-for­bid­ding at­mos­phere, where peo­ple can re­lax and in­ter­act with­out be­ing pres­sured by ag­gres­sive, out-of­s­cale ad­ver­tis­ing or be­ing over­whelmed by the sheer size of struc­tures with large un­bro­ken sur­faces that just feel out of place.

To pre­serve that "vil­lage" at­mos­phere, mod­est hu­man scale of both sur­face areas and spa­ces will need to be main­tained and large un­re­lieved masses of new build­ing what­ever their func­tion avoided.

To main­tain that char­ac­ter, re­peat­ing bold, iden­ti­cal build­ing shapes to form the bulk of a devel­op­ment is bound to feel in­con­gru­ent, as will re­peat­ing the same ver­ti­cal shapes in wall or glass pan­els.

The net ef­fect is that they be­come visu­ally com­bined and ap­pear as one larger mass that is out of scale with a "vil­lage" char­ac­ter.

Un­for­tu­nately, the Perth re­gion has grown to be­come in­ten­sively ur­banised so rapidly that so-called "plan­ning" has sup­ported ag­gres­sively com­pet­ing com­mer­cial in­ter­ests in prop­erty devel­op­ment for com­mer­cial gain and has been al­lowed to in­flu­ence and con­trol devel­op­ment.

In fact, typ­i­cally de­stroy­ing so­cial and sites rel­e­vance and re­plac­ing that with in­ef­fi­cient, anti-so­cial sprawl.

That has not cre­ated so­cia­ble com­mu­ni­ties of hu­man scale while, com­bined with the in­tro­spec­tive dis­trac­tions of new univer­sal "con­nec­tiv­ity", is fur­ther di­vid­ing and iso­lat­ing peo­ple. PETER FOR­REST, Kala­munda.

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