The Freo Network debates: “Is Democracy in Crisis?”

This month we take politics out of the pub and into a very serious forum to discuss if democracy is failing us (or perhaps working very well?) with local political players including Josh Wilson MP and Ben Morton MP and political reporter Jane Marwick.

The Fremantle Network and the Notre Dame Labor and Liberal clubs invite you to join them in a conversation: Is Democracy in Crisis?

Since 2010 Australia has seen five changes of Prime Minister, with each change involving alarming levels of angry disunity within our major parties. Worldwide, we see voters becoming disenchanted with the democratic process, either refusing to be involved or voting for populist and extremist leaders.

Is our Democracy in crisis? Why are citizens reporting low levels of trust in political leaders and the system itself? And how can we restore our democracy to good health?

The Fremantle Network and Notre Dame University Politics students invite you to join them for a conversation about the problems facing our Democracy and possible solutions.

With special guests: 
Ben Morton, Liberal Party MP for Tangney
Josh Wilson, Labor Party MP for Fremantle
Jane Marwick, political journalist 

Tuesday 30th October, 7.00pm to 8.30pm 
Santa Maria Lecture Theatre
Notre Dame University

13 Mouat Street Fremantle

A Social Ride to Look at Bike Infrastructure in Freo

Members and supporters of Bike Freo (the Fremantle Bicycle Users Group) invite anyone interested in safer cycling to join us on a ride to explore the state of bicycle infrastructure in Fremantle.

The ride is from 10am to about 11.30am on Sunday October 28th, starting and finishing at Pioneer Park, opposite Fremantle Station.

Come along and enjoy an easy bike ride in the company of people who share a desire to create more cycling and safer cycling in our region. Participants are encouraged to stop the ride for a discussion at places where they feel improvements need to be made and also to linger for a drink and chat at the end of the ride.


Phone Rob Delves   0409 376 926  or if you have any questions about this event.

Freo’s urban forest is growing

More than 1800 trees have been planted over the past 12 months as part of the plan to create an urban forest in Fremantle.

In the 2017-18 financial year a total of 714 trees were planted by the City of Fremantle on residential verges and in local parks, while another 92 were added as part of the landscaping component of City projects like pocket parks, car parks and walkways.

This follows the planting of 500 verge and park trees in the previous year, and is the result of the doubling of the City’s tree-planting budget from $60,000 to $120,000.

In addition, the City also planted 12,000 plants – including 1015 trees – in dunes, bushland and the river foreshore during nine community planting days and 21 volunteer planting days with conservation volunteers and local schools.

City of Fremantle Parks and Landscapes manager Ryan Abbott said it was all part of the plan to grow the urban forest in Fremantle.

“The City’s Urban Forest Plan forms part of our Greening Fremantle: Strategy 2020, which aims to progressively increase tree planting across the City to achieve at least 20 per cent canopy coverage,” Mr Abbott said.

“An assessment last year showed our canopy coverage was around 13 per cent, so to hit the 20 per cent target we have an ongoing tree planting and revegetation program and are integrating new trees into road and path upgrades wherever we can.

“For this current financial year we’re looking to continue to expand our tree-planting program and plant another thousand trees across Fremantle.”

The suburb of Samson had the highest tree planting numbers in 2017/18 due to the City’s targeted Greening Samson project.

Mapping undertaken for the Urban Forest Plan identified Samson had some of the lowest canopy coverage in Fremantle, which meant Samson was on average two degrees hotter than nearby suburbs due to the urban heat island effect.

A total of 212 trees were planted in Samson alone, while another 299 were planted in Beaconsfield, Hilton and Fremantle, and 203 in South Fremantle, North Fremantle, White Gum Valley and O’Connor.

The species of trees planted included red flowering gums, bottlebrushes, jacarandas and tuart trees, with the varieties carefully chosen to best suit the local conditions and surroundings.

As well as reducing the urban heat island effect by providing more shade, trees also absorb carbon dioxide, filter air pollutants and provide a natural cooling effect by releasing moisture through their leaves.

Planting more trees also helps to connect regional bushland to the coast and provides habitat and food for native animals.

For more information visit the Urban Forest Plan page on the City of Fremantle website.

From the Council Chambers September 2018

Thanks for deputy-mayor Ingrid Waltham for doing this good little summary of last month’s council decisions.


Go-to guide for parking in Freo

In case you haven’t seen it already, I think this little video sums up parking in Freo rather well.

Fremantle’s Ride to Work Breakfast October 17th

Ride on down to Pioneer Park next Wednesday 17 October for the City of Fremantle’s Ride to Work Breakfast and celebrate everything great about cycling in Fremantle.

The experts from Mercer Cycles will be on hand to do the once over on your favourite ride while you check out the demo bikes and info stands. Fremantle Tours will also be running mini tours of the heritage listed West End.

Two Queens Street Food and The Black Truffle will ensure that all your breakfast and coffee needs are met to keep you cycling throughout the day.

Where: Pioneer Park, Market St Fremantle (opposite the Train Station)
When: Wednesday 17 October
Time: 7.00 – 9.00am


To RSVP head to Eventbrite

Copenhagen’s Three Key Design Cues the World Should Follow

With the regular debate across Perth- not just Freo – as to why we struggle to get good design I thought this inspiring article by Tom Oliver Payne in Architectural Digest about why Copenhagen is repeatedly named one of the most sustainable, liveable, and best designed cities on the planet was well worth sharing

Copenhagen is repeatedly named as one of the most sustainable, livable, and happiest cities on the planet. Synonymous with beautiful architecture and a paragon of people-oriented urban design, professionals shaping Copenhagen are in high demand across the globe. From elegant harborside architecture to prioritizing bicycles over cars, Copenhagen offers pragmatic—yet chic—solutions to 21st century urban challenges. Here are three Copenhagen-related principles to inspire architects and urban designers around the world.


In the 1960s, dense traffic, parking lots, and dominating tower blocks began to replace Copenhagen’s traditional residential blocks and narrow streets. Its architects and urban designers found themselves at a crossroads: Would they continue to raze neighborhoods and pour concrete in the name of urban progression, or would they maintain the city’s traditional citizen-focused design?

The city’s urban designers halted their 1960s push toward dense, concrete towers in favor of maintaining a more human scale.

It’s clear to see which route they took. The city retains natural light, historic architecture, a strong bicycle culture, and a widespread pedestrian network—elements of the urban form that so many cities are now desperately trying to recover. Renowned urban designer Mikael Colville-Andersen explains that Copenhagen represents a “life-sized city” which doesn’t “overwhelm citizens with arrogant engineering or architecture.”

Much of the city is oriented toward the waterfront, encouraging recreation.

The city’s U-turn from a more aggressive approach to urbanism was not a mistake but rather a conscious and collective effort to ensure the city was built at a citizen level. “Copenhagen is a human experience at every turn,” where the “cross-pollination between engineers, urban planners, and designers and architects ensures a common vision and goal,” says Colville-Andersen.


When Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG were commissioned to design Copenhagen’s new waste-to-energy plant, they were determined to dream up a way to transform the negative stereotype of a power plant into a positive. The logic was simple: Why not make use of what will be a giant incinerator by also turning it into a ski slope? After all, Denmark gets cold but has no mountains.

Set for completion in autumn of this year, Amager Bakke (or “Copenhill,” as it has become known to locals), is set to be the world’s first plant of its kind, while also doubling as a leisure destination in its own right. The thinking is simple yet brilliant.

“Rather than being faithful to a single expression, we prefer a certain promiscuity that allows us to engage in many different styles, vocabularies or ideas,” says Ingels. “We call it ‘Bigamy’—the idea that we shouldn’t accept the limitations of established categories—and always attempt to merge conditions that are perceived as opposites or mutually exclusive. You don’t always have to choose between one or the other—often you can have both.”

Just a bicycle trip from Copenhill are a number of Ingels’ projects applying this very principle: Islands Brygge brings the beach to the heart of the city; 8 House combines retail, offices, houses, and apartments into a single building with a promenade and cycle track; and the Mountain Dwellings turns a car park into a housing project—complete with beautiful garden rooftops and a climbing wall thrown in for good measure.

All of this sounds like science fiction, but it’s the world-changing potential of architecture.


Today, Danish design is marked by a robust command of symmetry mixed with a degree of playfulness.

Likened to flies, Lego blocks, spaceships, diamonds, and toasters, the buildings composing Copenhagen’s skyline evoke intrigue and surprise through a sophisticated playfulness. “The thought of isms, of iconic buildings—which, regardless of context and function, represent a specific form of expression—is foreign to me,” says Dan Stubbergaard, founder of COBE. “If there is something that characterizes our projects and that I believe are their distinction, then it be the way they merge with the whole.… For us everything depends on the individual project—if it’s a museum for rock music, we get inspiration from the world of rock music.”

While many of today’s architects of notoriety have gained recognition using a signature touch (think of Zaha Hadid’s undulating curves and Frank Gehry’s sweeping, metallic surfaces), Copenhagen is built upon an experimentation of new ideas unique to their context. “The city has become a 1:1 laboratory of our work in all scales. In its very nature, any piece of realized architecture represents a serious use of resources. We believe in exchanging these resources into increased livability for people,” says Stubbergaard.

The newer buildings that compose Copenhagen’s skyline often push the envelope of traditional design, creating an interesting juxtaposition with the city’s preserved historic façades.

A robust command of symmetry mixed with a degree of playfulness helped bring 20th century Danish architecture to an international audience (Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, for example). Such virtuoso experimentation continues to influence the design of Copenhagen today.