Free Event for Fremantle Society Members Wed 2 Dec 6pm Arts Centre

Dr Carmen Lawrence: Doing Density Differently + Design Freo Exhibition

The Fremantle Society invites you to hear Dr Carmen Lawrence speak on how to design for the future without destroying amenity and heritage.

Dr Lawrence, whose many roles over the years included that of Chair of the Australian Heritage Commission, gave this talk some years ago, and it is even more pertinent now. It was the talk that warned: "The Council's Kings Square project will blight Fremantle for 100 years." It was the talk that could have saved King's Square if people had acted and if Council had listened.

But Council followed the path of Mayor Pettitt's adviser and mentor Peter Newman, who once falsely asserted: "The planning system is obsessed with heritage to the exclusion of all else."

Fremantle son Patrick Troy, dubbed " Australia’s greatest champion for seeking social justice through planning for better cities." (Sydney Morning Herald obituary 17/8/2018), repeatedly took Peter Newman on, in 2014 writing: "There is an ineffable sadness in reading the most recent illustration of Peter’s inability to understand the way buildings' form and structure affect the lives of those who live in cities. He has never recovered from the failure of his superficial exploration of some of the world’s cities in which he did not understand that correlation did not necessarily imply causation. He has been on a pro high density jag ever since.

It is sad to see someone so wedded to physical determinism singing to the developers’ mantra without exploring the research into the comparative per capita energy and water consumption of different forms of accommodation. Research which gives the lie to those who claim that high density of accommodation leads to lower consumption. He carefully avoids reference to the evidence that high density – especially high rise high density – accommodation is massively more expensive in terms of its per capita embodied energy consumption compared with traditional forms of accommodation. We do not need to refer to empty notions “based on first principles of architectural design”- a simple reading of the studies of the consumption behaviour of households in different forms of housing will suffice.

It is also sad to see someone who sets out to demonstrate his understanding of the health issues affected by households in different forms of accommodation with no apparent familiarity with the contemporary research into that issue – let alone the vast amount of historical research evidence into the effect of high density on the health of children which underlay the housing reform of post-war Australia."

Dr Carmen Lawrence has her own well articulated and sensitive views on how we can develop Fremantle with better quality density.

Before attending the talk by Dr Lawrence, which is immediately following the Fremantle Society AGM at 6pm, members are invited to a private viewing of the new exhibition Design Freo, put on by one time Fremantle Society committee member architect Michael Patroni of Space Agency.

Free event. Members only event. Numbers are strictly limited due to Covid.

Book your seats now by calling John Dowson on 0409 223622 or emailing:

John Dowson
The Fremantle Society

21 November, 2020


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