WA could save $23 billion by 2050 if infill development takes precedence over greenfield sites, according to a new report released in Perth last Friday morning.
The Property Council of Australia, Curtin University’s Sustainability Policy Institute, and CODA Architecture and Urban Design joined WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam to launch the report, which shows the State Government would save $94.5 million for every 1000 infill lots developed instead of the same number of stand-alone greenfield sites.
The #DesignPerth study builds on Senator Ludlam’s award-winning ‘Transforming Perth’ urban planning manifesto released in 2013, but goes further, providing what is believed to be the first Perth study with a comprehensive analysis of the true cost to government and households of residential development in infill areas compared with brand new sites.
Report co-author Professor Peter Newman from Curtin said it underlined why Perth needed to increase its proportion of infill to remain a competitive and sustainable city.
“Every state government in Australia wants more urban regeneration including WA but we are lacking ways to make it happen better,” he said.
“This report sets out some great examples and some obvious policy support that is needed.”
The Property Council’s Lino Iacomella said the industry was committed to strong and prosperous communities in Perth.
“This requires creative and diverse design principles for buildings and places,” he said.
“DesignPerth is a powerful demonstration that in a rapidly-expanding city like Perth we can achieve more growth through greater housing diversity, including infill development.”
WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who was joined by Greens leader Richard di Natale at the Perth launch, said the plan showed the State Government could save as much as $23 billion by 2050 by lifting density targets from 47 per cent to 60 per cent.
“Our cities are getting bigger and denser and we need to ensure we have a plan that provides health care, transport and more affordable housing for our most vulnerable people that is close by and cheap to get to,” she said.
“This report also showcases some inspiring work from Perth’s best urban designers and architects. They showed that designing new developments as ‘precincts’ creates 352 per cent more local jobs and commercial floor space, 187 per cent more public open space, 739 per cent increase in public transport use, and significantly more housing diversity.”
CODA Architecture and Urban Design Director Kieran Wong said smart design was important for the entire community, not just the residents directly involved.
“This report outlines a vision for Perth that utilises design thinking and expertise to leverage greater outcomes for communities on key infill sites across the metropolitan region,” he said.
“DesignPerth imagines a more vibrant people oriented delivery of density, not simply measured in number of people per hectare, but in quality and access to social and public amenity and infrastructure.”
The study found that the cost to government to provide infrastructure like roads, water, communications, power, health, education and emergency services in greenfield sites is $150,390 per lot, compared with $55,830 in infill sites, which translates to an extra cost to the community of $94.5 million for every 1000 lots developed in greenfield sites.