Home truths could save $23b

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch - By GIO­VANNI TORRE

WA could save $23 bil­lion by 2050 if in­fill devel­op­ment on key routes, in­clud­ing Stir­ling High­way, takes prece­dence over green­field sites, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port re­leased in Perth last Fri­day morn­ing.

The Prop­erty Coun­cil of Australia, Curtin Univer­sity’s Sus­tain­abil­ity Pol­icy In­sti­tute, and CODA Ar­chi­tec­ture and Ur­ban De­sign joined WA Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Lud­lam to launch the re­port, which shows the State Gov­ern­ment would save $94.5 mil­lion for ev­ery 1000 in­fill lots de­vel­oped in­stead of the same num­ber of stand-alone green­field sites.

The #De­signPerth study builds on Sen­a­tor Lud­lam’s award-win­ning Trans­form­ing Perth ur­ban plan­ning man­i­festo re­leased in 2013, but goes fur­ther, pro­vid­ing what is be­lieved to be the first Perth study with a com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis of the true cost to gov­ern­ment and house­holds of res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment in in­fill ar­eas com­pared with brand new sites.

Re­port co-author Pro­fes­sor Peter Newman, from Curtin, said it un­der­lined why Perth needed to in­crease its pro­por­tion of in­fill to re­main a com­pet­i­tive and sus­tain­able city.

“Ev­ery state gov­ern­ment in Australia wants more ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion in­clud­ing WA but we are lack­ing ways to make it hap­pen bet­ter,” he said.

“This re­port sets out some great ex­am­ples and some ob­vi­ous pol­icy sup­port that is needed.”

The Prop­erty Coun­cil’s Lino Ia­comella said the in­dus­try was com­mit­ted to strong and pros­per­ous com­mu­ni­ties in Perth.

“This re­quires cre­ative and di­verse de­sign prin­ci­ples for build­ings and places,” he said. “De­signPerth is a pow­er­ful demon­stra­tion that in a rapid­ly­ex­pand­ing city like Perth we can achieve more growth through greater hous­ing di­ver­sity, in­clud­ing in­fill devel­op­ment.”

WA Greens Sen­a­tor Rachel Siew­ert, who was joined by Greens Leader Richard di Natale at the Perth launch, said the plan showed the Gov­ern­ment could save as much as $23 bil­lion by 2050 by lift­ing den­sity tar­gets from 47 per cent to 60 per cent.

“Our cities are get­ting big­ger and denser and we need to en­sure we have a plan that pro­vides health care, trans­port and more af­ford­able hous­ing for our most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple that is close by and cheap to get to,” she said.

“This re­port also show­cases some in­spir­ing work from Perth’s best ur­ban de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects.

“They showed that de­sign­ing new de­vel­op­ments as ‘precincts’ cre­ates 352 per cent more lo­cal jobs and com­mer­cial floor space, 187 per cent more pub­lic open space, 739 per cent in­crease in pub­lic trans­port use, and sig­nif­i­cantly more hous­ing di­ver­sity.”

CODA Ar­chi­tec­ture and Ur­ban De­sign di­rec­tor Kieran Wong said smart de­sign was im­por­tant for the en­tire com­mu­nity, not just the res­i­dents di­rectly in­volved.

“This re­port out­lines a vi­sion for Perth that utilises de­sign think­ing and ex­per­tise to lever­age greater out­comes for com­mu­ni­ties on key in­fill sites across the met­ro­pol­i­tan re­gion,” he said.

“De­signPerth imag­ines a more vi­brant peo­ple-ori­ented de­liv­ery of den­sity, not sim­ply mea­sured in num­ber of peo­ple per hectare, but in qual­ity and ac­cess to so­cial and pub­lic amenity and in­fra­struc­ture.”

WA Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Lud­lam’s re­port, Trans­form­ing Perth, sup­ports the devel­op­ment of in­fill lots.

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