Australian communities are growing fast – and fastest at the fringe.
In urban growth areas across Australia, what are known as ‘greenfield neighbourhoods’ are popping up at speed.
The property development term “greenfield” is used to describe natural landscape that has never before been built on – and requires no existing structure to be demolished.
Although relatively new, these suburbs won’t remain so for long. In fact, with populations in these areas growing at twice the speed of the national average, very soon greenfield suburbs will be solid patches on the urban fabric.
Wanneroo’s very own fringe phenomenon
City of Wanneroo suburbs of Alkimos and Yanchep very clearly illustrate this concept.
As 2017 drew to a close, Yanchep was home to 10,000 residents. By 2041, this number is set to increase 312 percent to 45,012. (Compare this to just 2,025 Yanchep dwellers in 2001)!
Similarly, by 2021, the population of Alkimos is expected to increase by 10,000 to 16,551. Indications are, its resident numbers will rise 270 percent, to reach 38,979 by 2041.
It’s become apparent that with the rapid pace of change in the 21st century, new suburbs will do best if they’re planned with a good degree of flexibility. Adaptable design and mixed land-use will make it possible for these suburbs to keep pace with residents’ changing needs as demographics shift, and times themselves change.
Moving into the future, suburbs which can stay relevant to changing needs will eclipse those which can’t. Those offering appropriate choices in respect of employment, mobility, housing and recreation – will attract a healthy mix of residents and businesses. In keeping up with change, locations fitting this description become sought after places to live.
RailSmart Planning: In pursuit of a thriving community
Wanneroo’s northern growth suburbs of Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep, along the Metronet rail extension, are perfect candidates for the kind of flexible and smart future oriented planning described.
The purpose of the RailSmart Planning Wanneroo project is to introduce smart-planning (in terms of land-use and public transport) to accommodate the challenges of the City’s projected population boom.
To understand this, it’s important to point out a key difference between traditional urban planning and smart-planning (RailSmart).
Whilst traditional urban planning: concentrates on catering to the immediate, established needs of the community,
Smart-planning: has a strong focus on future-planning needs. Using predictive technology it is able to cater to current community needs whilst also addressing the future needs and impacts of a growing population.
At project completion, RailSmart will use the latest available technology to carry out future oriented scenario-testing in the planning of urban spaces surrounding Metronet extension rail stations.
RailSmart’s predictive planning models will allow for local planners to determine the highest and best use of land at Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep – not only for now, but for the future as well.
This is extremely good news for these fringe suburbs.
With RailSmart project success, these communities will likely get to enjoy a future where they have excellent work choices and recreational options far closer to home.
Smart-planning is flexible and …FOR YOU!
Ideally, RailSmart planning means planning flexibility with less restrictive covenants and rigid zoning rules which prevent change.
Here are some examples of how this could look for local residents:
- a home-owner can set up a small business in their garden shed or garage
- a family can erect a granny flat in their backyard for various use cases
- aging parents or those with teens can choose to move from a house into an apartment without having to leave the area
- a relationship change can mean a switch to a smaller home in the same suburb is easy
- a playground for young children is planned so it can easily be adapted into a skate park or sporting space for teens
As a community witnessing the rollout of the RailSmart Wanneroo Planning project we invite you to engage with us and share your view – it really matters to us!