People Cities: the Legacy of Jan Gehl

This week a few us from the City of Fremantle had the pleasure of siting down and having a chat with acclaimed Danish urban planner Jan Gehl.  Jan was over in Australia to reflect on the work he had in Australian cities such as Melbourne and Perth.

He was also here to be part of a celebration and launch of a book on his extraordinary contribution to make cities all around the world better places for people. People Cities: the Life and Legacy of Jan Gehl is written by Curtin University’s Professor Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan (who now works at the City of Fremantle advising us on sustainable city planning.

Jan’s contribution has been impressive and you can see this especially in his home town of Copenhagen where a few years ago I got to meet him and be shown around – on bike of course – the city by his impressive staff at Gehl Architects. In Copenhagen more people ride each day than drive a car and it has been said “a 10-year-old child can now cycle across the city because of an emphasis on safe intersection crossings.”.

Here is the link to the talk he gave while he was here. It is inspiring:


MANY changes but staying 6160

MANY 6160  is Australia’s largest temporary space activation project (possible the largest anywhere in the world but as they say it is a bit hard to know how to measure this) .

Since Spacemarket opened it in October 2013, the former department store has become a fabulous cutting edge retail space with producers above and a gallery below.

But all good things must … well … change and evolve and MANY 6160 V1.0 is closing and moving on so the Kings Square project can get underway.

In fact this weekend (18/19) is their last in the old Myer building (check out the leaving event below) and I think you’ll agree that the project has been a huge success for Fremantle and exceeded expectations in terms of longevity and quality. The City of Fremantle has been working closely with the MANY team since the project launched and lately on their transition plan.

So the exciting news is that MANY 6160 will transition to MANY 2.0 in three other under-utilised buildings in Fremantle:

Big parts of the retail floor will be relocating to 52 Adelaide St (old-Spotlight). It will be great to see that area get some much needed reactivation.

The production floor will largely go into 45 Henderson St (the Old Police Station) and 135 Stirling Hwy (Old Matilda Bay Brewery).

I am extremely pleased to see this amazing initiative continue and evolve. MANY has been a key part of keeping Fremantle unique and creative.

The leaving party is next Friday the 24th. All welcome.




“Life After Coal”; North Freo Forum.

Energy, from coal to renewables, has been a topic of hot conversation around the nation this week and in North Fremantle this week it continues with Professor Peter Droege from the University of Liechtenstein speaking on “ Life After Coal – International Examples Of Post Coal Prosperity And Lessons For Collie WA”

This forum will explore international examples where regional centers that have relied on fossil fuel industries have been renewed and revitalised through a transition to renewable energy.

Learnings from one of the world’s leading experts on planning and infrastructure development for renewable energy will be combined with local knowledge and research to explore the potential and pathway for a renewable energy transition in Collie in Western Australia.

Event Details

Thursday 16 February 6pm – 8pm

North Fremantle Community Hall, 2 Thompson Rd, North Fremantle


ABOUT Professor Peter Droege

Prof Peter Droege and the Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development pursue post carbon regions with local communities and regional governments. Peter is in Perth to share insight into his current initiative of devising structural change in one of Europe’s largest brown coal mining regions, drawing encouragement and insight from similar developments elsewhere. The obvious need and opportunity for Collie to make a similar journey will be the focus for discussion.

Peter Droege has been an academic in Australia (Newcastle and Sydney universities), America (MIT), Japan (Uni of Tokyo) and now at University of Liechtenstein. He has books on The Renewable City (2006), Urban Energy Transition (2008), 100% Renewable (2012) and has been a powerful leader of academic and policy-based research on how cities and regions can create good economic outcomes by moving to renewables.

Sustainable Energy Now (SEN)

Western Australian research and advocacy group SEN has developed a ground-breaking model to examine pathways and opportunities for renewable energy uptake in the Southwest Interconnected System. Ben Rose from SEN will present some recent findings from this model, with a focus on jobs and economic development opportunities for Collie over the next decade.

Women’s Football has a Huge Debut at Freo Oval

History was made at Fremantle Oval today with the first AFL women’s game to be played in WA fought out between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions.

There was a capacity crowd of 10,000 people and a fun family atmosphere. While the Dockers were defeated after a tight, hard-fought game it was great to witness this historic occasion. We hope to be able to make this a regular feature at Freo Oval.

Here are a few snaps of the day:


Australia Ship Simulation Centre Opening – A Future Freo Business, Now.

This week I got to do quite a unique opening which included the unique smashing of a virtual bottle of champagne on a virtual ship’s bow.

It was largely virtual because the opening was of the new specialist Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle’s Atwell Arcade. The Australia Ship Simulation Centre is owned and operated by UK- based HR Wallingford and provides expert navigation consultancy and a dedicated Pilot training centre for Western Australia and the wider region.

The opening was a memorable evening but it was also more than this. It is significantly another good example of what I believe will increasingly key part of the future of the Fremantle economy – high tech/innovation focused businesses, often with a specialist marine focus.

The now fully leased Atwell Arcade office building has become a hub of innovative marine and sustainability businesses. When seen alongside the recent completion of the MSC headquarters in Cliff Street, there is pleasingly a steady growth in high quality, nationally significant employment in the heart of Fremantle.

There is plenty more to do but significant openings like this are steps towards Fremantle as a distinctive and vibrant second city.


c4omdkrueaagq-m c4o5vqew8aahdoz img_5008 img_5010



X-press Mag wrote a great review of St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival which was in Fremantle last weekend. The full review is here ( ) but here are some nice excerpts celebrating our Port City’s contribution to music and beyond at a festival which had an awesome line-up of local talent including as Tame Impala, Koi Child and Nicholas Allbrook:

While Falls established itself in Perth this year, it’s safe to say Laneway is still the premier festival for music lovers, and another stellar edition over the weekend solidified its reputation.

Freo seems to be dominating the festival market lately, perhaps fittingly so, as the port city has been instrumental in putting WA on the musical map. The city’s prodigal son, Kevin Parker, returned this year – his band Tame Impala finishing up the massive Currents world tour in their home town, with a suitably triumphant festival finale.

The duo of Briggs and Trials are a winning combination, and A.B. Original provide a much-needed loud indigenous voice in Australian hip hop. They’re also a couple of damn fine rappers … and … it was obvious what they would finish with – thanking the crowd sincerely, they gave a special shout out to Freo for their support of the Change The Date movement, and how much it meant to them, before launching into January 26. To see the support and response all around; it was a special moment.

But it was all about hometown heroes Tame Impala. A huge crowd had gathered and it was a jam-packed hour-long set of their finest material… they bid us good night with New Person, Same Old Mistakes which saw a massive explosion of confetti over the crowd, that was like being showered in rainbows. A perfect and fitting end to another great Laneway.



It’s been a great few weeks of Fringe World shows in Fremantle, and the Freo Royale team have saved some of the funniest and most entertaining for the final week.

If you haven’t made it down to Freo Royale yet, here’s their hot tips for shows at the Federal Hotel:


Greg Fleet – We are idiots

Feb 9-11 6.30pm, Federal Hotel

Comedy should not be giving people what they think they want, it should be giving people what they don’t know that they need yet. It should be a journey. A celebration. A trip. Come along. “One of the best comedians in the world, ever” Stewart Lee. “Excellent…Loads of presence” *****”The Scotsman “*****”The Adelaide Advertiser

Tix via:


Actual Men – Back in Training

Feb 9-12 8pm, Federal Hotel

Bowley and Heggie are making a triumphant return to Perth FRINGE WORLD for the third time. This is an all new show. Half an hour of power each. Bowley: WINNER at life. Adelaide People’s Choice. “Sharp, manic, and very likeable.” Adelaide Advertiser. Heggie: WINNER SCF Director’s Choice 2015. “One of the funniest standups around.” SMH.

Tix via


Alcohol is good for you

Feb 9-12 9.30pm, Federal Hotel

Nominated for Best Comedy at FRINGE WORLD 2016 & selling out all 23 shows at Edinburgh Fringe. Sam (NSW) has been crushing stand-up as of late. So, come join Sam for a drink and an hour of non-stop inebriated laughter.

Tix via


Tomas Ford’s Chase

Feb 12 6.30pm Federal Hotel

Ford. Tomas Ford. A fantastic crooner by night, a terrible assassin by day. Join him as he travels the world on an epic manhunt, without realising that he just might be the one being hunted. Hilarious and nail-bitingly tense, the mission plays out over eleven killer new songs and globe-trotting visuals. **** The Scotsman

Tix via


For the full program, opening hours, show times, costs and more information:


Photo credit: Jamie Fazackerley