Special Council Meeting – Kings Square project

The Kings Square project will potentially cross another hurdle this Monday night (11.2 at 6pm)  when the Fremantle Council will have a Special Council meeting to consider what has the potential to be the biggest urban renewal project Fremantle has ever undertaken.

We have worked very hard on getting this project right and I am increasingly of the view that this project is going to be key if we are to make revitalize the Fremantle CBD and get more diverse retail and good jobs back into Fremantle .

The report is on the web but here is the Executive Summary

Council adopted a draft business plan in November 2012 for the sale and redevelopment of a number of properties in the Kings Square precinct. In accordance with the Local Government Act requirements, the plan was advertised for public comment. A total of 27 submissions have been received and are required to be considered by council. Council may adopt the Business Plan with minor amendments without the need to readvertise. If major amendments are made the Plan is required to be readvertised for a further period of 6 weeks.

The majority of submissions made comment on 2 key matters:

1. Urban design issues relating to the opening of Newman court to vehicular traffic and the perceived loss of public and/or green space in Kings Square;

2. The building architecture as shown in the images in the Business Plan.

Whilst council has adopted Urban Design Guidelines for Kings Square, the issue of traffic in Newman court will need to be resolved separately to this process as the Guidelines provide flexibility on this matter. Detailed design of the public realm spaces will need to be undertaken once council decides to proceed with the redevelopment proposals.

To address the many concerns about the architecture, it is suggested by officers that council give consideration to conducting an architectural competition for its proposed new library, visitor centre, civic centre and administration building. Details of the conduct of such a competition will be the subject of separate report to council through the Planning Services Committee.

A summary of submissions is included in Attachment 1 together with a suggested brief response to each matter raised. A more detailed written response will be provided to each submitter following the council’s determination of submissions.

Council is now required to determine whether it will adopt the Business Plan with or without amendment, or not adopt the plan.

civic-building-from-Queens-St-at-night

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One Response to Special Council Meeting – Kings Square project

  1. I actually really love the look of this design, a good mix of modern and old… I don’t think that much green space would be lost, and there is a beautiful area at Esplanade reserve with ample green space. Kings square needs both. The best and most sustainable public spaces can be used by people from diverse communities, that encourage multiple experiences.

    Many cities around the world (particularly Europe), have a number of high quality public spaces such as squares, lakes, parks, plazas and public gardens. Some are vast green spaces with paths, smaller paved areas for exercise or events, lakes, restaurants, cafés, and shops. Others are simply small areas, paved or not, where people can sit, walk, skate, cycle, play badminton, and watch others. Some are too small to offer space for much more than to sit on a bench and relax for a few minutes on one’s way elsewhere. Some are nearly empty part of the time and packed in early mornings and throughout the evening where as others are always lively, due in part to their central location and easy access.

    One thing is clear, such spaces are much loved and do much to enhance the quality of life of those who have the opportunity to use them. I mean, if your ever feeling lonely, you can just go outside. If you need something to do, go and watch people, participate in the daily drama of life in the streets, in the parks and plazas and public squares of the city. I think this is what Fremantle is all about and this project ‘is’ key to getting that activation happening.
    Wherever there are people, in buildings, in neighbourhoods, city centres, recreational areas etc, it is generally true that people and human activities attract other people. People are attracted to other people…. it’s as simple as that.

    I have gone over board with my comments yet again but always have stuff to say as you know… but I wanna finish with this quote I really like.

    “There is a variety of reasons for which people come to neighbourhood parks. Even the same person comes for different reasons at different times; sometimes to sit tiredly, sometimes to play or to watch a game, sometimes to read or work, sometimes to shop, sometimes to show off, sometimes to fall in love, sometimes to keep an appointment, sometimes to savor the hustle of the city from a retreat, sometimes in the hope of finding acquaintances, sometimes to get closer to a bit of nature, sometimes to keep a child occupied, sometimes simply to see what offers, and almost always to be entertained by the sight of other people.” Jacobs, J, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Random House, 1989.

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