Green space concerns for urban plan

Green space concerns for urban plan

Alannah MacTiernan says Perth is settling for substandard design and a lack of green space as it transitions from largely suburban living to an urban city.

The State's one-time planning and infrastructure minister said planners must move beyond "the hype of cool urban living" to address the deficiencies or risk creating "some pretty unattractive places to live".

She also warned the community could be turned off higher-density living if "third-rate" developments were allowed to go ahead.

"If we wish to attract and retain the people we need to drive our society forward, we need to offer diversity of lifestyle," she said in a speech to Strata Community Australia WA's annual conference. "Not everybody wants to play backyard cricket.

"But I do think there are very real problems with the current policy settings and much more thought and care needs to go into managing this transformation from suburban to urban form.

"Single housing is giving way to unit development and we see daily some of the compromises to future amenity that are being made. We are at risk of creating, perhaps not slums of the future, but certainly pretty unattractive places to live."

  • *Ironically, she said, while higher-density living was promoted as a way to combat climate change the way Perth was doing it could exacerbate the problem because of a lack of greenery and developments that relied on air-conditioning and artificial lighting instead of natural ventilation and light.

Ms MacTiernan later told _The West Australian _ there was a risk of losing the support of the community for medium to high-density living if "third rate" developments were allowed to go ahead.

Ms MacTiernan's comments coincided with the arrival of a group called 202020 Vision, which is campaigning for more green space in Perth.

The group is holding a series of events around Australia, bringing together experts to promote the benefits of green space.