THE Property Council of Australia last week released its 'Big and Small Ideas for Perth' report, which is described as a call to action to those with an interest in the central and inner city – the state government, local governments, agencies, businesses, and the community.
The report, prepared by Urbis and TPG + Place Match, sets out initiatives to help overcome economic challenges and trigger renewed focus on the inner city as an engine for the economic growth of the state.
The report advocates five key ideas:
- Postcode 6000 – make the residential densification of the inner city a key government priority; barriers must be removed and the right incentives provided;
- Perth Shopping Town – Coordinate and centrally manage a new CBD retail strategy;
- Brand Perth – Create a unique city brand to attract residents and economic development;
- A shared city agenda – form a joint body like a Council of Governments between inner city local governments, the State and MRA; and
- Plan Perth – undertake new initiatives to plan ahead, including securing inner city transit corridors and programs to create a walkable city.
"The Perth CBD has benefitted from a lot of infrastructure investment and now it needs a new strategy to take advantage of these assets and address the economic challenges in the city like high office vacancies and a subdued retail sector," Property Council WA Executive Director Lino Iacomella said.
"The top idea to revitalise the CBD is to significantly boost the residential population. This will create a bigger market for local retailers and generate the street vibrancy to attract more visitors.
"The CBD also needs a genuine precinct plan to create vibrant local neighbourhoods, which attract business and community hubs.
"The CBD retail sector needs more coordination and a central management plan to create a unique city shopping experience and compete with the expanding suburban centres.
"Perth suffers from not having a recognised brand to guide local economic development and attract international attention. Just as Sydney is known for being the regional finance capital, Perth should also be known for something unique.
"It's also fundamental that we acknowledge and embrace our position in the Asian region.
"It's time for increased cooperation and coordination in the delivery of infrastructure and services across state agencies and inner-city local governments.
"The State should explore the establishment of a Minister for the Capital City.
"We also need a new plan for Perth which includes a city boulevard program to enhance the walking experience in the City. There should also be a Citynet component of Metronet to secure corridors and plan ahead for things like a CBD under-ground rail loop and cross-river tunnels.
"The shared objective in the report is to make Perth a 'world-class' capital city to drive jobs and prosperity to keep WA growing," Mr Iacomella said.