Be Part of the 18th International Cities Town Centres Communities Conference in Freo

I am very excited that the Fremantle is hosting the 18th International Cities Town Centres Communities Conference

This is shaping up to be a really exciting program with some excellent speakers already lined up and now you can get involved.

ICTC 2018 has now put out a “Call for Speakers” that is closing soon.

If you would like to be part of it submit your abstract by  Mon 16 April!

The ICTC Society is looking for a variety of presentations incorporating the conference theme: Progressive Cities, Innovative + Authentic + Connected that include the latest trends, case studies and projects from a variety of different sized cities, towns and places.

You can submit here and read the conditions etc

The latest keynote speaker to be announced is Ed McMahon from the Urban Land Institute & Chair of the National Mainstreet Centre in the  USA.  For a taste of what he will have to say check out:

Urban Design Day in Fremantle on March 26th

Please join us for an Urban Design Day in Fremantle on March 26th at Fremantle Library hosted by Prof Peter Newman and Dr Annie Matan.

I’ll be talking too 🙂

  • 9-9.40am                 Prof Peter Newman
  • 9.40-10.30am        Dr Annie Matan
  • 11-12.30am             Brad Pettitt Q&A
  • 1.30am                     Guided Walk around Freo by Peter Newman


Hilton town centre set for facelift

The Hilton town centre is set for a facelift after the Fremantle Council approved the plan for an upgrade.

The plan aims to make the section of South Street which runs through the Hilton shopping area feel more like a traditional town centre by slowing traffic and creating a safe and welcoming environment.

It also addresses a serious safety issue by preventing cars from turning right out of Paget Street and Victor Street onto South Street.

That stretch of South Street is very dangerous and the local community has been calling for something to be done to improve safety for a long time. In the past five years there have been 20 crashes involving cars turning right into South Street and a lot of near misses for people using the pedestrian crossing.

These improvements will make the area a lot safer, while also creating a much nicer community space.

The improvements will also include enhanced signage and lighting to make drivers more aware of the pedestrian crossing on South Street, new ramps at Paget Street and Victor Street to make it easier for people with prams and wheelchairs, a different colour asphalt roadway to delineate Hilton town centre and new landscaping and street furniture.

The project is being funded through $250,000 from the state government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program and $50,000 from the City of Fremantle.

Thanks to the Ward Councillors (Jeff McDonald, Dave Hume, Hannah Fitzhardinge and Sam Wainwright) and Fremantle member Simone McGurk for making this happen

Work is expected to start in April next year and be completed by the end of July. Here are some before and afters:


Ask me, I’m a Freo local

Freo locals are being asked to share their local knowledge with visitors.

People who are passionate about their city and are comfortable being approached by visitors can pick up an ‘Ask me, I’m a Freo local’ badge from the City of Fremantle and wear it when they’re out and about in town.

Fremantle Councillor Dave Hume, who brought the idea forward, says the idea is for locals to share their love of Freo with visitors by being available to provide directions, offer advice and give insights into their favourite parts of the city.

“Fremantle locals are a friendly bunch who are eager to share their knowledge and passion with visitors and show them places they might not otherwise know about,” Councillor Hume said.

“This campaign is about putting a friendly face on Freo and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for visitors.”

The Freo local badges will be distributed to City of Fremantle staff and local businesses.

They can also be collected from the Fremantle Visitor Centre at the Town Hall and the customer service counter at the City’s administration building.



ABC News: Subiaco and Fremantle: The two Perth ‘phoenix’ suburbs set to become vibrant again

The recent exit of football from Subiaco after the iconic oval’s closure has dealt the area a harsh blow. Across town, the number of empty shops in Fremantle’s city centre continues to grow.

The two communities have been struggling to draw consistent crowds for some time. But Curtin University urban planning expert Dr Shane Greive believes that “like a phoenix rising from the ashes”, Subiaco and Fremantle are on the way back up.

“We have an interesting concept in the academic world: creative destruction,” Dr Greive said. “The idea that something has to die first before you get the new birth coming out of it.”

“So yes, things are dying, but also I think that’s just the ground for things to grow again.

“Maybe we’re looking at Subiaco and Fremantle in winter and maybe we’ve got to think about that Subiaco and Fremantle in spring emerging.”

Death by gentrification

Dr Greive said while Fremantle had maintained a strong community vibe, Subiaco had in some ways lost its identity and both suburbs had been suffering from what he called “late-stage gentrification”.

Subiaco Fremantle talent composite

“Gentrification is actually a good thing in the first stages, it’s basically new money and new people coming into the neighbourhood — fantastic,” he said.

“It gets about halfway and you’ve got an older crowd, a younger crowd and a mixed-income crowd — also fantastic.

“Then what happens after that, the investors start to move in, the oligarchs start to move in and you end up losing people, values go up and they outprice themselves from the market and it takes them 10 or 15 years to figure out what went wrong.”

Penny Taylor recently won a six-way race for Mayor of Subiaco, replacing outgoing mayor of 12 years, Heather Henderson. She said she had a plan to avoid making the same mistakes.

“In my doorknocking and campaigning I was given permission to not just listen to the people with the loudest voices,” she said.

“The info that I got from that is valid for more than a week, that’s valid for some time, and I think I will continue listening.”

Ms Taylor said reducing red tape was a priority and that a recent change to alfresco licensing laws was a move in the right direction.

“If it takes you six months to get open that’s not great,” she said.

“But if you can open as quickly and efficiently as possible in a way that meets the requirements — that are there for important reasons — and also meets the owner’s dreams and vision for their own business, then that’s a way that the administration can be part of making Subiaco vibrant.”

Locals and tourists enjoy the sunshine as they dine along the 'capuccino strip' in Fremantle

Freo’s weekday problem

Brad Pettitt was recently re-elected Mayor of Fremantle for his third term and admitted the city centre in the port town had been struggling.

“It would be fair to say, over the last decade or so, the heart of Fremantle hasn’t really worked as a seven-day-week economy,” he said.

“It’s got this great vibrancy on the weekends, but Monday to Thursday it’s quiet.

“It needs more people living in it, more people working in proper jobs during the week and of course more tourists and more visitors.”

While retail has not flourished in Fremantle for some time, a $270 million redevelopment of the city centre will add 6,000 square metres of retail space.

The Kings Square project by the City of Fremantle and Sirona Capital will also include a new civic chamber, library and council office spaces for more than 1,500 public servants.

A building covered in scaffolding with palm trees in front of it.

Mr Pettitt said the retail space would be unlike any other.

“The reason I think retail will work in Kings Square is not only do you have 2,000 new workers in the precinct, but it’s also not going to be your traditional retail in some ways,” he said.

“There’s going to be lots of food and beverage, there’s going to be lots of destination retail, where people will want to come.

“It’s about actually thinking where is retail going, especially in this emerging post-Amazon kind of world of online shopping — it’s about creating spaces and places that people want to come to and have a real sense of connection with.”

The Kings Square project is expected the be finished in late 2019.

Realising The Freo Alternative Vision

The first stage of The Freo Alternative was about generating a shared community vision on the future of housing in Fremantle. Through this process we heard that eight themes are important to you: housing choice, trees and landscaping, open space, sustainability, community, built form, car movement and location. Read more about these themes and the proposed scheme amendment and planning policy on My Say Freo.

Stage two is about realising this vision through planning policy. We want to identify how the City can change our planning rules to allow for smaller homes in suburban locations while protecting the things we love about our Fremantle neighbourhoods.


We’d love to hear your thoughts on the proposed planning rules.

We’re popping up in the suburbs to answer your questions and hear your thoughts. Feel free to come along to any of these events:

White Gum Valley | 15 November 2017  4.30 – 6.30pm at Sullivan Hall –  2 Nannine Ave, White Gum Valley.

Fremantle | 16 November 2017  4 – 6pm at Holland Park – Holland Street, Fremantle.

Beaconsfield | 19 November 2017 & 26 November 2017 8am – 12 noon at Growers Green Market – front lawn of South Fremantle Senior High School, Lefroy Road, Beaconsfield.

Hilton | 22 November 2017  4 – 6pm near the entrance to Gilbert’s Fresh – 308 South Street, Hilton.

Samson | 23 November 2017 4.30 – 6.30pm at Samson Recreational Centre – 44 McCombe Ave, Samson.


We encourage you to read the proposed planning changes in more detail online and complete the survey by 5.00 pm 2 February 2018.

If you have any questions just let us know by emailing or phone us on 9432 9999

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.