The Greens, the Property Council of Australia, and the Australian Urban Design Research Centre have developed an ambitious report that demonstrates Perth can accommodate its projected population growth within the existing urban footprint of the city, while also providing a blueprint for vastly improved public transport and boosting affordable housing and local business.
Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam said the new report - Transforming Perth: A study into the development potential along Perth's Activity Corridors - applies world's best planning principles to solving Perth's transport, planning, and housing affordability problems.
"This report takes just seven of Perth's 18 planned rapid transport corridors and identifies the potential to build between 94,500 and 252,000 new homes - depending on the mix of medium and high density. With exclusively medium density development the seven corridors would accommodate 84 per cent of Perth's infill target of 154,000 dwellings to 2031.
"Our urban footprint is already bigger than San Francisco, Los Angeles City, Barcelona, Manhattan and Hamburg combined and our population is growing fast - ploughing through more greenfield sites is not the answer; it's a disaster in the making. This report shows how we can accommodate our growing population while boosting economic activity and creating thriving communities.
"People should be able to live within walking distance to local jobs, services, shops, and public transport. This report demonstrates it can be done - by creating a network of high streets and a city for people, rather than a network of congested, alienating main roads.
"One of the many benefits identified in Transforming Perth is that living on high streets reduces car dependency and traffic congestion. An additional 400,000 cars are expected on Perth roads in the next decade. Journey times have increased by 72% in 10 years. Traffic congestion costs our community $1 billion a year - this can't go on," said Senator Ludlam.
The Australian Institute of Petroleum's latest figures show the average price of unleaded fuel in Perth soared to 147.9 cents per litre last week - up 3.5 cents from the previous week. In just over a month, average prices have risen 9 cents a litre. Greens planning and transport spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC said the Labor and Liberal parties had left a key element out of the transport debate.
"You can argue about MAX and Metronet around the clock - but unless you get city planning right, you are still going to have rampant urban sprawl; you are still going to have people in new outer suburbs driving two hours to work - and paying a fortune for the privilege - and you are still going to have services and amenities stretched to the limit.
"Get urban planning right and you can deliver affordable housing to our growing population, take traffic jams off the streets, boost local businesses, reduce pollution, and free the people of Perth from car dependency in the age of peak oil. The Property Council of Australia, the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, and the Greens have produced a world-class guide to getting urban planning right in the 21st century," said Ms MacLaren.