City of Perth wins planning award

A City of Perth project that encouraged innovative solutions to planning issues was recognised by Planning Institute of Australia.

Dubbed, 'What If – Ideas for the City of Perth’, the project won the Minister’s Award at the annual Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) National Awards for Planning Excellence held in Hobart.

The ‘What If’ project involved inviting ten architectural, town planning, urban design and landscaping consultancies to submit ideas on how different parts of the city could be dramatically improved, modified or refreshed.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the award recognised that the ‘What If’ project was a way to overcome planning challenges and to encourage healthy discussion surrounding the future development of our city.

“As well as engaging with some of the brightest minds in our local planning industry, the 'What If' project also captured the imagination of Perth residents as demonstrated by the thousands of people who visited the accompanying public exhibition,” she said.

“The project allowed us to broaden our thinking and all parties involved should be congratulated for their dedication to delivering new concepts for our city.”

PIA National President Dyan Currie said the project was an excellent example of how the planning profession is becoming more visionary and creative in planning sustainable communities for the future.

"This urban design project was designed to encourage innovation and stimulate community debate around certain areas in the City of Perth without the traditional constraints of a formal brief," Ms Currie said.

The projects and the companies who worked on the 'What If' project included; covering the Mitchell Freeway in front of Parliament House to ‘reconnect’ the city and West Perth (Jones Coulter Young); covering the railway east of Barrack Street to the Swan River and making use of the new space created (Roberts Day Group); covering the railway reserve between Thomas Street and City West (Taylor Burrell Barnett); Green City — suggesting ways the city can respond to climate change and have a sustainable future (Hassell); and Populate Perth — planning for a population threshold that will help stimulate the city economy and contribute to its vibrancy (Woods Bagot).

Other projects and companies involved were; Mounts Bay Road between William Street and Point Lewis, near Narrows Bridge — transformation from a busy transport access route to an attractive and engaging city street (Cox Howlett Bailey Woodland); Langley Park — changing from a large expanse of grass to a more active and varied recreational space (Urbis); Central Institute of Technology precinct — creating a true inner-city identity and links to  surrounding streets and the Perth Cultural Centre  (Donaldson + Warn); Wellington Square — expanding public recreation options and integrating more into the neighbouring community (AECOM); Sports stadium — creating a centrally located stadium capable of accommodating 60,000+ spectators in East Perth (City of Perth); Gasworks — creating a fashion industry hub by reactivating old and under-utilised buildings in the CBD (City of Perth); and expanding the pedestrian network — connection from McIver Station to the river in front of the Concert Hall (City of Perth)

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