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As Perth grows, we must keep master planning 22/08/2015

Perth is growing up and there is a buzz and vibrancy that accompanies a city on the move.  It is not without its challenges, but we are now a very diverse community and our urban spaces need to accommodate an enormous range of lifestyles and expectations.

Perth is growing up and there is a buzz and vibrancy that accompanies a city on the move.  It is not without its challenges, but we are now a very diverse community and our urban spaces need to accommodate an enormous range of lifestyles and expectations.


Whilst the traditional detached house on a block of land has been in favour for a long time, we have seen an explosion in other types of dwellings coming on to the market.  In the year ending 30 June 2014 there had been 5831 approvals for dwellings other than houses, a category which includes units, apartments and townhouses.  This financial year, that figure jumped to 8,559, a 45 per cent increase in twelve months that saw the market share of new detached housing drop below 70 per cent.


This increase in diversity of housing stock is important, as we need to cater for people who only want small living spaces, often known as-lock-and leave, as well as those that want a house and garden to cater for a family lifestyle.  The challenge is to ensure that there is a mixture of product available right across Perth, rather than having all of the smaller dwellings near the city and all of the larger houses further out.


We are very lucky in Perth that most of our greenfields development has been undertaken as part of masterplanned communities, and we are very good at it.  Indeed Ellenbrook was just recognised as the world’s best master planned community at the Real Estate Federation’s World Prix d’Excellence Award for 2015.  Ellenbrook was first recognised through the UDIA WA Awards for Excellence in 1995 and it has grown now to be home to more than 35,000 people.


How we grow in Perth and all of our regional urban centres is a very important discussion, and one that is being echoed around the world as we become increasingly urbanised.  By 2050 it is expected that five billion people globally will live in cities so we need to keep growing our understanding of how we can maximise liveability.  For UDIA, getting precincts right is a fundamental part of growing cities.  To develop great precincts we need to have strong engagement from government, industry and the community early in the process to enable the vision to be delivered efficiently, embracing innovation and mindful of creating lifestyle affordable options for our increasingly diverse community whilst delivering a local character that can be enjoyed by all.

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