Esplanade Youth Plaza

Design Feature
Type of Project
Infrastructure, Placemaking
State
Western Australia
Location
Urban

The Esplanade Youth Plaza (EYP) is a world class, award winning project that contributes to the vibrancy of a prominent public open space in Fremantle, the Esplanade Reserve. Completed in 2014, the EYP was developed to offer a safe and youth friendly inner-city space, encouraging young people to interact and be physically active.

Youth focus in the heart of a city

City of Fremantle was guided by the Youth Plan Strategic to develop and maintain existing youth friendly spaces and explore opportunities to improve the Esplanade as a youth friendly space. The EYP has been central in the beautification of the Reserve, offering comfortable resting areas for all visitors, encouraging pedestrian traffic, and therefore, optimising the safety and utility of the park. The EYP is actively participating in making Fremantle a destination place.

The Esplanade Youth Plaza encourages physical activity through various programs held on site, such as the Skate Clinic pictured - Photo Credit Geraldine Photography
The Esplanade Youth Plaza encourages physical activity through various programs held on site, such as the Skate Clinic pictured - Photo Credit Geraldine Photography

The location was an essential criterion for Council; the land is owned by the Department of Regional Development and Lands, and is vested to the City for management. Interest was expressed in 2009 to consider the Esplanade Reserve as a site for a youth area. Around 40 submissions were received at the time, asking for a skate park to be developed at the Woolstores site which was set to be demolished. No budget was available, and several concerns from some residents meant that the project never took shape.

As the site in the corner of the Esplanade Reserve remained under-utilised and isolated it became an unsafe environment for families until selected as the location for development in 2012. The central location of the site, the proximity to existing amenities, public transport, as well as the City’s infrastructure supporting alternative modes of transport have helped to maintain a constant and high level of activation and sense of place in the area. The EYP contributes to the vibrancy associated with Fremantle as a destination.

A Roller Derby team utilising the Esplanade Youth Plaza facilities - Photo Credit Geraldine Photography
A Roller Derby team utilising the Esplanade Youth Plaza facilities - Photo Credit Geraldine Photography

Consultation with key stakeholders was central to the design of the EYP to ensure maximum ownership by the community. The EYP has been able to cater for a large cohort of young people, while integrating with the flow of existing foot-traffic on the Esplanade Reserve. Diversity and inclusion were driving factors in determining the type of outdoor play spaces offered at EYP.

The Esplanade Youth Plaza is a popular community facility, and generates a sense of place by offering a safe, youth friendly destination - Photo Credit Geraldine Photography
The Esplanade Youth Plaza is a popular community facility, and generates a sense of place by offering a safe, youth friendly destination - Photo Credit Geraldine Photography

Free climbing and parkour have been strong components of the program on offer, complementing the well-established stake park. Costumed decorated ping-pong tables, slacklining and rock-climbing facilities further extend inclusiveness of the facility. The park additionally features a stage area for events and youth music concerts, as well as adequate green spaces and seating. A sense of place has been reinforced through the inclusion of a marine buoy, which has been incorporated into the bowl design of the park to acknowledge Fremantle’s Maritime history.

Milestones:

August - September 2012

  • Appointment of Project Team, including representatives from the City of Fremantle in community development, parks and landscape, economic development, technical services and communication.

December 2012

  • Appointment of contractor (Convic Skateparks).

January 2013

  • Community consultation via social media commenced.

April 2013

  • Community comment on proposed design.
  • Approval of $600 Thousand Lotterywest grant.

April – June 2013

  • Appointment of Working Group for detailed design including stakeholders.

July – September 2013                      

  • Development of detailed design.
  • Submission of WAPC application.

October – April 2014

  • Construction and public opening.

Project Team

  • City of Fremantle Project Team
  • Skateboarding WA
  • Perth Parkour
  • Freestyle Now – Youth Skating organisation
  • Dismantle – bicycle workshop social enterprise (youth engagement project)
  • Slackline Australia
  • Lotterywest
  • Convic Skateparks (main contractor)
  • Community involvement via social media

Project Cost 

Total development and construction cost - $1.6 Million ($600,000 received from grant funding).

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