The end of one year and the beginning of the next always gives good pause for reflection and when I look back over last year and consider what’s ahead of us, I think the future for place making in Perth is looking brighter all the time.
2008 saw many more organisations embracing the language of place and “exploring place and the value of place making as the basis for resilient and vibrant communities”, as Village Well aptly put it.
The East Perth Redevelopment Authority rebranded itself as epra: revitalising urban places and FORM’s Urban Activation portfolio became Place Activation. The City of Perth launched its strategy for revitalising Perth’s laneways and contracted Jan Gehl from Gehl Architects to conduct a follow-up of his 1994 Public Spaces & Public Life in Perth study. The Committee for Perth Arts and Cultural Taskforce launched A Cultural Compact for Western Australia: The 10 Year Challenge: Phase 1 Perth which includes a focus on vibrant places. Fred Kent’s (President of Project for Public Spaces) visit in August was a highlight for me – particularly having around 100 people from the government and community sectors turn up to his public seminar at Perth City Farm and also the positive response he received from Perth’s business and government leaders attending a Committee for Perth-hosted function.
2009 looks set to be a good year for place making in Perth. For Perth’s place making enthusiasts, there are a number of opportunities to connect and network with likeminded others, share and gain skills and get involved in place making initiatives in the first few months of this year.
Check out these opportunities:
- Be part of The Placemaking Movement – a new online network of Placemakers organised by PPS to enable discussion, sharing ideas and networking. Visit The Placemaking Movement site to get involved and make sure you join the Placemaking Down Under group to help build the network of Australian, WA and Perth-based place makers.
- PPS and Village Well are partnering to lead a Place Making Master Class in Perth on 17 February 2009. This will be Ethan Kent’s first visit to Perth and a follow-up visit for Gilbert Rochecouste who many of you will know from similar training last year. Click here for more information and to register. There is a discount available for Community Arts Network WA members.
- The 7th National Mainstreet Conference 2009 is being held in Fremantle from 15 – 19 March 2009. For full details click here.
- EPRA have released the draft Design Guidelines for The Link project for public comment. These guidelines provide the framework for the design of the built form of The Link and are a crucial component in developing lively community places in this city site. Have a read and have your say by 28 January 2009.
- In the heart of the city, a great new community space is opening soon! On 21 February 2009 we’ll be opening the doors and inviting people who live, work and play in the city to be part of a conversation about how it can be a great community place. Details to follow soon…