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His firm, Hope and Klem, believed strongly, along with the town clerk William Bold, in the garden suburbs movement in which there was no gridiron pattern to streets, a promotion of open space and curvilinear streets that followed the contours of the land and preserved the local indigenous flora.
This was in large contrast to the uncoordinated sprawl that happened in Perth where developer requirements meant every inch of land was attempted to be made saleable. In the 1920s, subdivision was generally unregulated and piecemeal with little proper attention to town planning principles.
Hope and Klem’s design was unique at its time, with very different structure and form to other subdivisions. Klem stated: “I found it necessary to design more than a skeleton plan in order to protect those ideals so dear to the hearts of town planners, and vitally necessary when it is considered that the embodiment of these ideals will influence in a very large measure the social, moral and physical welfare of future generations”.
Klem was very specific in regards to minimum lot sizes, setbacks and ensuring there was a ban on terraced housing. He considered this integral to upholding the “garden suburbs” design. He also specified that “no two buildings of similar or near design be approved if adjoining on either side”.
Zoning regulations were strict in this way and in other places in Australia where these regulations have been altered it has been noted that the garden suburb design’s integrity and intentions are in large part lost.
The way in which contours of the land determine the layout was unique at the time and Hope and Klem had a lasting influence on how town planning progressed from this point on.
Klem's town planning principles were specifically to ensure a strong local community could prosper. Excessive cars on curved roads will interrupt the many children who meet on the street to play together, one of many of the things that make these suburbs “something special”.
The street pattern does not lend itself to car street parking, which would inevitably occur if there were four or six residences where previously there was one with limited car bays on those altered blocks. There is also no easy definition