Balance village feel with need for development

Balance village feel with need for development

SOME proposals and new buildings in Kalamunda are being questioned in local newspapers as out of character not befitting a “village”.

That character has emerged from small and human scale in all the building elements of what has existed, presenting a busy, yet friendly and entirely un-forbidding atmosphere, where people can relax and interact without being pressured by aggressive, out-of-scale advertising or being overwhelmed by the sheer size of structures with large unbroken surfaces that just feel out of place.

To preserve that “village” atmosphere, modest human scale of both surface areas and spaces will need to be maintained and large unrelieved masses of new building whatever their function must be avoided.

To maintain that character, repeating bold, identical building shapes to form the bulk of a new development is bound to feel incongruent, as will repeating the same vertical shapes in wall or glass panels.

The net effect is that they become visually combined and appear as one larger mass that is out of scale with a “village” character.

Creative architecture, urban design and environment in all its connotations need for the future to be recognised as a seamless process, brought together and related to particular locations with real regard for functions, needs and outcomes.

Unfortunately, the Perth region has grown to become intensively urbanised so rapidly that this integration is being lost.

So-called “planning” has supported aggressively competing commercial interests in property development for commercial gain and has been allowed to influence and control development.

In fact, typically destroying social and sites relevance throughout the Perth region and replacing that with an inefficient, anti-social sprawl.

That has not created sociable communities of human scale while, combined with the introspective distractions of new universal “connectivity”, is further dividing and isolating people.

PETER FORREST,

Kalamunda.