Freo 2029 Commended in 2017 Australian Urban Design Awards

The Australian Urban Design Awards recognize contemporary Australian urban design of the highest quality and encourage cities, towns and communities across the country to strive for best practice.

This year Fremantle 2029 Transformational Moves by COX Architecture and City of Fremantle was commended in the category “Australia Award for Urban Design, Policies, Programs and Concepts – Small Scale”

Jury citation

Fremantle 2029 Transformational Moves powerfully communicates the City of Fremantle’s vision for a city re-energized by business investment and residential growth.

It sets a clear-sighted urban design framework for creating a highly liveable inner-city environment – one that the jury considers bridges the gap between strategic thinking and the realization of change on the ground.

The City formulated a document that can engage multiple key stakeholders. This cross-agency approach is a fundamental component of Fremantle 2029 and places people at the centre of design processes.

What distinguishes Fremantle 2029 is its aspirational approach to issues of urban design and the built environment. Through a series of clear diagrams and explanatory text, a vision is established for a progressive city made possible through collaboration. What further impresses the jury is that opportunities, rather than challenges, are presented, acting as an incentive for potential developers, landowners and state agencies, and as a motivation for committed community members.


Feedback sought on the Kings Square public spaces (and there’s cool new online interactive map)

This press release went out today:

The community is now able to have their say on how public spaces in central Fremantle will look and function as part of the upcoming renewal of Kings Square.

An online interactive map of the area is available on the City’s My Say Freo engagement portal, where people are able to navigate through the various zones to provide input on design and function until 4 December 2017.

Key aspects of the draft Kings Square Public Realm Concept Design include:

  • more shaded areas, with a 5% increase in tree canopy
  • an additional 600sqm of public gardens and grassed areas (a 3.4% increase)
  • a new outdoor children’s play space
  • a designated church yard and urban garden area
  • new paving and street furniture extending further out to the edges of the square
  • the retention of service vehicle access, universally accessible parking and vehicle drop-off zones
  • designated outdoor spaces for events
  • wider footpaths to encourage alfresco dining
  • integrated public artworks celebrating Fremantle’s Aboriginal and European heritage.


Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the priority was to re-establish Kings Square as the true civic and commercial heart of Fremantle.

“Fremantle’s Kings Square is WA’s only formal town square and has a long and proud history of adapting to the needs of the community,” Mayor Pettitt said. “The next phase is something to look forward to but it’s crucial we get it right.

“When we first consulted the community in 2012 the key themes that came through were for future planning to prioritise pedestrians, deliver high-quality landscaping and shade cover and bringing back activity to all areas within Kings Square.

“I believe the draft plan delivers on the principles the community has asked for, but over the next six weeks we’ll be asking people for ideas on what could be done to get an even better result,” Mayor Pettitt said.


Enhancing public spaces in and around Kings Square is a key component of the once-in-a-generation Kings Square Renewal project, which also involves the redevelopment of the former Myer building and Queensgate buildings and the City of Fremantle’s civic building and library.

The draft Kings Square Public Realm Concept Design was developed using principles developed and endorsed by a community ‘citizens jury’ in 2012.  These principles include the prioritisation of pedestrian space by minimising vehicle movements and non-essential parking, better activating the edges of the square and respecting the historic character of Kings Square.

The draft design and interactive map is now available for public comment on the City’s My Say Freo online community engagement portal until Monday 4 December 2017.

Next Week is Seniors Week

WGV has won the 2017 WA Water Sensitive Urban Design (Graham Heal) Award

WGV at White Gum Valley has won the 2017 WA Water Sensitive Urban Design (Graham Heal) award at the Australian Water Association (AWA) WA 45th Anniversary & Water Awards Dinner.

The award recognises ‘excellence in total water cycle management resulting in better on–ground water, wastewater or drainage outcomes’, highlighting Josh Byrne & Associates’ (JBA) industry leading approach to urban water management and scheme water optimisation at WGV.

WGV is a 2.2ha LandCorp ‘innovation through demonstration’ residential infill development in the Fremantle suburb of White Gum Valley showcasing precinct-scale design excellence on many levels. The project is targeting a 60% reduction in mains water use across the various housing typologies and has been endorsed by the Water Corporation Waterwise Developmentprogram.

Key water saving initiatives include a community bore irrigation supply for use in both public and private gardens, as well as lot-scale rainwater harvesting systems for toilets and washing machines. There are advanced water efficiency measures in the homes and a range of water sensitive landscaping features integrated across the development site. Smart metering of all water sources provides real-time data that will assist householders to better manage their water use and validate performance modelling assumptions used during the design of the project.

The push for setting mains water efficiency targets beyond those considered industry best practice has been led by JBA in partnership with key stakeholders including; Water Corporation, LandCorp, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), City of FremantleCRC for Water Sensitive Cities (WSC), CRC for Low Carbon Living (LCL), Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP), UDIA and JBA.

The project learnings are being shared with the wider industry through events, tours and technical publications communicated via the innovative WGV Waterwise Development Exemplar communication program. Further detail about the project can be found in the Case Study developed by the CRC for WSC.

Key Stakeholders of the Waterwise Development Exemplar. From left: Greg Claydon (Executive Director Science and Planning: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation), Steve Capewell (General Manager and Non-Executive Director: Water Corporation), Greg Ryan (Sustainability Manager: LandCorp), Dr Brad Pettitt (Mayor: City of Fremantle), Dr Josh Byrne (Director: JBA & Research Fellow : Curtin University and CRC for Low Carbon Living).

A Big Thanks and Some Lessons Learned

After a lovely day off with the family it is great to be back in the office at the start of another 4 year term. I am extremely grateful to the people of Fremantle for giving me this opportunity to serve them for the next 4 years and see through a number of the key projects we have been working on.

I want to say a big thanks to those who helped with our positive and principled election campaign.  Without all of your amazing support it just would not have been possible. As someone joked to me early on: It probably isn’t a good idea to run in an election in which you’re putting your hand up for a politically problematic third term, with a brand new baby, just after kicking off a controversial national conversation around Australia Day – two out of these three would be enough, let alone all three!

And it really would have been a terrible and impossible idea if it weren’t for all of your support. We have run a positive campaign that talked about our vision, actions and plans for a Fremantle that is more inclusive, liveable, vibrant and sustainable.  It was the best of the Fremantle community I love being part of and am proud to represent.

But that said I am aware that this election campaign highlighted some divisions and greater polarisation in the Fremantle community than I expected. So I am committed this term to working to reach out and work on these issues that the community has spoken on including:

  1. Better services in the suburbs. Undoubtedly some parts of Fremantle feel like they need a little more love and I accept that we have put a lot of our energy in recent years into breathing life back into central Fremantle. But now that Kings Square is getting underway, there is good scope for a stronger focus on Fremantle’s suburbs and with verge mowing back on and new and improved waste and recycling services this is already underway;
  2. There is nevertheless more work to do in our CBD around homelessness, coordinated social services and more generally making the centre more inviting to visitors and we will be holding some community forums on this in coming months;
  3. As I wrote in my last blog post, I also heard loud and clear that we need offer better services to older members of the Freo community. From aging in place to daily community activities, this is an area we can also improve in;
  4. Finally it is clear to me that we need to get better at communicating what we do at the City of Fremantle, just as we need to get better at hearing feedback from a wider range of residents. This will require some innovative, creative and hopefully fun ways of reaching out.

Elections are tough but they are a good time to re-evaluate what is and isn’t working. A big thanks to the people of Fremantle to giving me the opportunity to learn these lesson and improve. I feel very blessed.

I also want to congratulate the Fremantle Council members who were re-elected (Sam, Doug, Hannah and Andrew) as well as welcome Jenny Archibald and Aidan Lang on board. I look forward to working with you all.

Finally, this blog welcomes your feedback so if you have comments and constructive criticism please send it this way.

Best regards, Brad

Aoife is glad the campaign is over too. Thanks Roel Loopers for the photo

Thanks at the End of My Second Term

As another election campaign and with it another term comes to an end I want to make a few final comments.

Regardless of the result tonight, I want to say it has been a real honour and pleasure being mayor of this special city and community this last eight years.

It’s been a big picture council – and we have been criticized for that on occasions – and a collaborative one and I have loved been part of it.

One of the good things about the democratic process is that is forces out of the day to day into speaking to lots of people from all part so of town and you learn new things – sometimes surprising.

I learnt that the Australia Day wasn’t front of mind for most voters,

I learnt that it was the local issues around trees and verges and crime and community that most wanted to talk about.

I also learnt that the community wants us to do provide more  facilities for older people want in the centre of our city.

We want to ensure older local elders feel welcome and have a place to go in our city so the City’s Positive Aging Strategy is due to be updated and will be a priority if I’m re-elected.

Fremantle has an aging population, and is a really attractive people for retirees and older people, so we want to make sure we are providing the services and facilities they need. We also recognize that the needs of someone over 55 is different to someone over 80, and will consult with different age groups to be able to tailor for their different needs.

Traditional assumptions about older people may no longer be relevant, for example people may want to go to an art exhibition and out for coffee rather than playing lawn bowls or bingo – so we will consult to find out. We also want a place where people can go or things they can do if they’re having a ‘lonely day’.

I hope to create a Multi-Age Precinct, a vibrant mixed-use development in an established area such as the Fremantle Oval redevelopment area, designed to suit all ages, within walking distance of public transport, and the city centre and associated facilities, focuses on social sustainability and community and most importantly there is an onsite service provider offering lifestyle and aged care services.

Finally I want to thanks Cr Simon Naber and Cr Dave Coggin for their service over the past few years. Neither have recontested their seats.

The future is now in the hands of those counting ballots. Whatever way it goes – a big thanks from me.

Garage Sale Trail this Weekend!

Australia’s biggest weekend of garage sales is happening around the country on Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 October 2017.

As you can see there is lots happening in Freo too.

For more info check out: