PROMINENT Perth urban planner Linley Lutton died January 7, aged 64.
In recent times he was best known as the lead campaigner against the Elizabeth Quay development, as part of the City Gatekeepers movement.
Prior to that he had a long and varied career as an architect, urban planner, and was former chair of the Australian Institute of Urban Studies WA.
Mr Lutton worked in China, planning public spaces in areas with booming populations, and in Libya helping emerging towns achieve a good balance between public space and higher density housing.
But in Perth, in recent years, he grew concerned over the state government’s push for increased density.
He said retrofitting our cities for higher populations, by plonking apartment blocks in suburbs, was “a great demonstration of poor city planning”.
Writing for The Conversation in September, he said “justified in the name of sustainability, the results are often substandard living environments showing no relationship to the local context”.
He was critical of the mantra that high density was good for sustainability, saying if developers truly cared about sustainability they wouldn’t approve substandard designs with no consideration for energy and water consumption, and use wasteful construction materials.
As chair of the City Gatekeepers, Dr Lutton opposed Elizabeth Quay on the grounds that it was giving away a publicly-owned heritage site to the private realm, for what he called an “awful soulless development”.
Recently he worked with the Fremantle Society to try and preserve the port city’s heritage.
by DAVID BELL