POST 71: WINING BACK PERTH’S SUBURBS AND CITIES

City of Joondalup needs more civic architecture – not uninspiring metal structures.

The City of Joondalup (COJ) is originally designed on the principles of traditional western architecture.

But is being turned into a mishmash of architectural styles . An ugly 17 storey high-rise glass and steel tower overhangs the town centre. An uninspiring 8-storey Government building looks completely out of place in the Joondalup landscape. An enormous white metal structure with layered aluminium panels. Approved by unelected bureaucrats on a Development Assessment Panel (DAP)

Surveying the scale of the high rise residential and aluminium plated government building, demonstrates that blending with the original architecture, was not part of the DAPs brief.

It is interesting to note, studies reveal buildings and cities affect well-being. Long-established civic buildings bring local people together around shared interests and community purpose. The Joondalup library building and surrounding urban design is an excellent example of this.

Joondalup a Global City?

The COJ Mayor has stated he would like to transform Perth’s City of the North into a Global City.

The COJ recruited a new CEO, Mr James Pearson who will be at the forefront of the COJ’s Global City vision. Mr Pearson previously worked for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA.

So is a Global City what the citizens of the Northern suburbs would like? Unfortunately, they have no say in the matter.

The concept of the Global City has its critics. One commentator argues that the Global city with it’s homogenous high rise buildings could be located in any number of metropolises across the globe – it would be hard to observe much difference. He calls this the non-place, where history, traditional architecture and national identity are not on offer.

Scathing comments relate to the impacts Global Cities’ have on local communities, “The globalization of cities and their elites often comes at the expense of many of the people who live there.

Forced to compete with immigrant workers, native-born residents of cities often feel displaced, becoming strangers in what they thought was their own place”.

The City of Joondalup was planned around higher and vocational education institutions.

Due to the massive increase in overseas students’ over the past decade, Joondalup campuses are attended by thousands of foreign students.

All foreign students have automatic work rights on entry into Australia, thus providing intense competition for jobs in local labour markets.

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