Historic heart

PERTH councillor Jemma Green wants Perth council to help fund a plan to rejuvenate the “Historic Heart” of the east end CBD.

On August 12, 1829, a tree was felled next to where the town hall now sits, marking the beginning of the colony’s history.

“The city first grew out of this area, between Barrack Street in the west and the Perth Mint … in 2017, this part of our city has become extremely run down, tired and in urgent need of our help,” reads Cr Green’s motion.

“In this area there are numerous hotels, with thousands of people visiting our city and walking through the east end, getting a very poor impression of the City of Perth. With the new Perth stadium, on event days 14,000 people will use the Swan River pedestrian bridge.

• Jemma Green wants Perth council to help fix up the historic heart of Perth.

“Many will walk through the east end with all its tiredness and rundown-ness on full display.”

Late last year a group led by Western Australian of the Year Adrian Fini launched a not-for-profit group to refurbish the east end, calling it “Historic Heart of Perth Inc”.

They’ve had discussions with about 60 interested groups including the Perth Mint, Catholic Archdiocese, Tourism WA and the National Trust to work out low-cost ways to rejuvenate the area.

The project will cost between $1.6m and $2m and the majority will be raised by landowners, with the state government already having committed $250,000 for improved signs, laneway lighting, CCTV, planter boxes, alfresco areas and bikeracks.

“The Historic Heart project is not an infrastructure project,” Cr Green says.

“It is not even an expensive project.

“It is a low-cost tactical intervention to beautify the streets of the eastern part of Perth … this kind of interventionist approach to rundown parts of cities has worked with amazing success in many cities around the world.

“It’s acted as a catalyst to attract private investment into tired and lifeless areas.

“Interventions like this happened in east London where I lived for 11 years. It was a dangerous and unpleasant area, and by the end, it was vibrant.

“It has happened in parts of New York, Barcelona, and many other cities that have undertaken such interventions.”

by DAVID BELL

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