‘Design WA’ – A response to the draft paper issued by the WA government for public comment


A Paper entitled DESIGN WA for a better built environment was issued in the form of a draft “STATE PLANNING POLICY 7 DESIGN OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT” by the WA Planning Commission.

Stating –“The Government of WA promotes the importance of design quality through the Better places and Spaces Policy: a policy for the built environment in WA. It establishes the need for constant and clear design quality consideration across the built environment. The policy sets out the principles, processes and considerations which apply to the design of the built environment in WA. This policy provides the overarching framework for those State Planning Policies that deal with design related issues, to be used in conjunction on specific development types relating to the design matters of a proposal.”

This response continues the general theme frequently pursued on this website -from a community perspective, that the present structure and organisation of the OVERALL Planning System in WA in terms of outcomes, has been failing badly for some years, is out of date conceptually, managerially disjointed and not capable in its present form of delivering effectively as a PUBLIC SERVICE paid for by the community.

This draft initiative has for the first time engaged the services of the Offices of the Government Architect, not normally a component of the Planning System. To that extent it is highly commendable and has explained to WAPC/Dept. of Planning, that has hitherto retained no expertise whatsoever in essential aspects of professional urban design, what is really involved. That was closely following recent initiatives in Eastern States seeking to emulate international best practices in urban design planning.

However, this response explains in some depth the realities of the existing Planning system in WA overall and explains why this initiative is quite simply, in the present administrative context, undeliverable.

Read full paper…

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