Claisebrook Village

  • Street trees protect pedestrians and contribute to a visually pleasing streetscape.
    Street trees protect pedestrians and contribute to a visually pleasing streetscape.
  • Wide pedestrian access ways promote walking throughout the site.
    Wide pedestrian access ways promote walking throughout the site.
  • A network of pedestrian only paths prioritises walking.
    A network of pedestrian only paths prioritises walking.
  • Cyclists use rails to secure bicycles while enjoying the cove.
    Cyclists use rails to secure bicycles while enjoying the cove.
  • Claisebrook Village is linked to a network of attractive cycle and walking paths.
    Claisebrook Village is linked to a network of attractive cycle and walking paths.
  • Claisebrook Cove
  • Claisebrook Cove
  • The public open space attracts many visitors.
    The public open space attracts many visitors.
  • Claisebrook Cove
  • Claisebrook Village provides a diversity of housing types in close proximity to the Perth CBD.
    Claisebrook Village provides a diversity of housing types in close proximity to the Perth CBD.
  • Claisebrook Village provides a diverse range of housing types.
    Claisebrook Village provides a diverse range of housing types.
  • Claisebrook Cove
  • Claisebrook Cove
  • Well-designed public and private spaces contribute to a lively and inviting area.
    Well-designed public and private spaces contribute to a lively and inviting area.
  • A wide pedestrian path invites people to enjoy the cove.
    A wide pedestrian path invites people to enjoy the cove.
  • Claisebrook Cove
Introduction

The development of Claisebrook Village within the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) Area was groundbreaking in the delivery of higher residential density development in close proximity to the Perth CBD. At the time of planning, central Perth had limited residential housing and the development of Claisebrook Village shifted the diversity and choice of housing within the Perth CBD dramatically. The town houses and apartments were planned within a context of urban development with a focus was on prioritising pedestrian and cyclist movements. Claisebrook Village demonstrates how innovative thinking can be a catalyst for change.

Description of project

The Federal Government’s Building Better Cities program (1991-96) began a process of renewal at Claisebrook Cove that established an urban village on the Swan River. The initial masterplan design acknowledged the local Aboriginal and European heritage of the area, capitalised on proximity to the CBD, supported public transport at the Claisebrook Train Station and encouraged pedestrian activity.

The original industrial area accommodated only 270 residents. Claisebrook Village now houses approximately 2,710 residents and provides shops with a 30% increase in commercial floor space. There are 6,000 workers in government departments and commercial businesses, 3,000 new students at educational facilities, and nearly 22ha of recreational parks, open spaces and other public areas.

The masterplan deliberately contemplated small lot sizes, increased development heights and reduced road reserves.  To provide a high level of amenity for the residents of the higher residential development, master-planning processes established certain urban design principles:

Mixed-use

  • There are a number of land uses within walking distance of Claisebrook Village: public transport, commercial, retail (including supermarket), employment, education, and recreation.  The Perth City Farm is a good example of a multi-use space. It is a cafe, market, music and entertainment venue and, importantly, a place for the community to gather.  Residents can easily reach the Perth City Farm along a linear park.  Emerging research indicates the benefits of preserving access to fresh and healthy food options, as it improves the overall health of the community.

Public open space

  • Within Claisebrook Village there are the, Victoria Gardens and Mardalup Park which provide children’s play areas, benches and BBQs. Quality public open spaces along the banks of the Swan River to the north, including Banks Reserve, Bardon Park, and Maylands Yacht Club, can be easily accessed without significant barriers to pedestrian and cycle movements. There are uninterrupted paths to Burswood Reserve, Heirisson Island, and the Barrack Street Jetty. Claisebrook Village is located within walking distance of the WACA and Gloucester Park sporting entertainment venues. 

Built form

  • Research indicates the benefit of stairs in our increasingly sedentary lives. The level changes around the cafe and entertainment area at the cove provide health benefits and visual interest, while interconnected paths preserve disabled access. The built form and access points contribute to a strong sense of place.

Movement network

  • The pedestrian access ways in Claisebrook Village are inviting and well lit, providing an interconnected urban landscape that supports pedestrian movements. The fine grain road network promotes a slow vehicle movement area prioritising pedestrian movements. 
Project team
  • East Perth Redevelopment Authority
Project cost

$128 million

Values

In addition to providing a diversity of housing, Claisebrook Cove provides a number of other health, economic, environmental, social and use benefits.

Health value
  • Mooring facilities and jetties enable boats and kayaks to access the cove, and encourage increased enjoyment of the Swan River and public open spaces.
  • Encouraging a transport mode shift at Claisebrook Village was innovative in the 1990s as there was a significant culture of individual car use. By 2006 the number of residents walking to work in Claisebrook Village was double the Perth average and the number of residents catching the train was triple the Perth average.
  • There are significant benefits to the health of a community that has unrestricted access to regional cycle paths. Claisebrook’s paths connect to key destinations in the Perth Metropolitan Area.  
Economic value
  • The redevelopment of the Boans Furniture Factory constructed between 1910 and 1920, is an example of how preservation of history transforms into economic benefit. Through careful design, the factory converted into apartments and terraces, breathing new economic life into the old factory site and positively contributing to a sense of place.
  • In 1992, the Claisebrook Village project identified that the government investment of $127 million would attract $685 million in private investment. By 2002, the commercial floor space target of 130,000m2 had been exceeded by 50,000m2. Reviews of the economic success of Claisebrook Village call for even higher residential densities and a more compact commercial area along Royal Street to support the local economy thus demonstrating how the market has changed over time.
  • It was risky economic business to propose high-density residential development in the close proximity to the Perth CBD in the 1990s. Most builders in Western Australia had never attempted apartment or town house dwellings on lots as small as 160m2 and higher density living was new to the community. Ensuring the economic success of the project required cultural and behavioural change. The area was placed under the control of the East Perth Redevelopment Authority to carefully manage the quality of place creating a high value sense of place.
Environmental value
  • Claisebrook Cove has undergone significant environmental remediation. The former East Perth Redevelopment Authority won three Urban Development Institute of Australia awards (in 1996, 1997 and 1999) for environmental excellence in transforming the site from an industrial wasteland to a sustainable urban village.
  • Irrigated public open spaces use water drawn from the Cove, reducing the reliance on scheme and ground water.
  • The state-run East Perth Gasworks was decommissioned in 1971 and the area fell into disrepair. It became an area to avoid. It is now one of Perth’s most desirable residential areas, and a space visited by many pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Investment in the arts has improved the amenity of the area and contributed to a strong sense of place. Inspired by the pre-settlement Indigenous and post-settlement industrial heritage, artists using existing materials in the area have created 25 pieces of artwork.
  • The environmental sustainability of Claisebrook Village continues to improve with the EPRA adopting a Green Building Development Policy in 2010, whereby developments are required to achieve a minimum 4-star Green Building rating.
Social value
  • The design and development of Claisebrook Village complements, supports and preserves a number of historical sites: the Gothic style St. Bartholomew’s Church (built in 1871), one of the original burial sites of European settlement at East Perth Cemetery (established by the Swan River Colony in 1829),  the East Perth Primary School and Jack Davis House (former Infant's School). Local residents and workers now use the primary school as a cafe. 
  • St Bartholomew’s House, run by the Anglican Church, is located in the area and provides accommodation and assistance to homeless people. Programs build the self-esteem of the homeless, improve social and communication skills and assist in breaking the cycle of homelessness. 
  • Claisebrook Cove has been important to the Noongar people with camping, hunting and fishing occurring in the area for thousands of years. These activities are acknowledged in the open spaces at the entrance to the Cove.
Use value
  • Around 70% of the redevelopment in the Claisebrook Village is within a five-minute walking distance (400m) of the Yellow CAT bus route, contributing to a high level of access to public transport.
  • Many different people are attracted to the activities in the area. A group of volunteers organise the Claisebrook Cove park runs, held each Saturday. Music and cultural events such as the Claisebrook Cove Boating Picnic and the Jazz and Wooden Boat Show are organised by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority. The Aboriginal Community Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service and Perth City Farm also call Claisebrook Village home.
  • A high level of housing diversity has been achieved within Claisebrook Village with the number of renters increasing, and now 5% higher than the Perth average. The number of owner-occupiers is around 10% less than the Perth average.
  • In 2002, the EPRA addressed the housing affordability issue at Claisebrook Village. A statutory planning policy was adopted requiring 10-15% affordable and social housing within future developments.  
References

Anglican Church Diocese of Perth, St Bartholomew’s House. Sourced on 8 January 2013 from: http://www.perth.anglican.org/stbarts/

Claisebrook Cove parkrun - Weekly Free 5km Timed Run Sourced on 8 January 2013 from:  http://www.parkrun.com.au/claisebrookcove/

Cravings Perth’s finest coffee house, Sourced on 8 January 2013 from: http://www.stopcravings.com.au/

Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, About Claisebrook Village, Sourced on 8 January 2013 from: http://www.mra.wa.gov.au/Projects/Claisebrook-Village/About-the-Project

Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, Claisebrook Cove, Things to do and see Village. Sourced on 8 January 2013 from http://www.mra.wa.gov.au/Projects/Claisebrook-Village/Publications

Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, Claisebrook Village - A case study of urban revitalisation. Sourced on 8 January 2013 from http://www.mra.wa.gov.au/Projects/Claisebrook-Village/Publications

Western Australian Heritage Council, East Perth Primary School (fmr). Sourced on 8 January 2013 from: http://inherit.stateheritage.wa.gov.au/Public/Inventory/Details/da3cb682-db46-4469-801b-39464b0db6f6

Type of project
Masterplan
Scale of project
Local Area
Location
Urban