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Attracting people into the city

Re-energising the Perth CBD and bringing people back into the city at all times of the day and night to make it a fun, safe and economically sustainable place has been a hot topic for several years.

Therefore it was of great interest at UDIA WA’s recent Developing Destination WA summit, which was themed around developing Western Australia as a place of choice to live, work and invest.

The carefully curated summit featured keynote speakers who provided insights into some of the future-shaping projects that are underway or in the planning stages across Perth and the regions.

The first session focused on the Perth CBD and how we can bring the City of Light to life.

I think we can agree that Perth city has plenty of potential and it is an enjoyable place to work, but it still needs to find a point of difference to make it a destination of choice to not just work but to live and play as well.

Summing it up nicely, guest speaker and DevelopmentWA Planning and Transition Executive General Manager Matt Ryan said people in Perth could find many great services and amenities in the suburbs.

He said you could live in any corridor in Perth and find what you needed. Therefore, to attract people back into the city, we needed to offer all that amenity, plus something more or something different.

Perth has certainly been on a journey in this regard over the last decade or more – from WA Museum Boola Bardip to the Perth City Link and the planned revamp of Yagan Square, as well as the ongoing development of Elizabeth Quay.

We are also seeing major changes down the east end of the city, including plans for the Western Australian Cricket Association redevelopment and the former Perth Girls School.

There are also longer-term visions to further re-engage the city with the riverfront, including recent discussions about how the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre can be renovated and improved to engage more actively with the riverfront.

A key aspect of developing the Perth CBD as a place of choice to live, work and play will be getting more residents living in the city. The new Edith Cowan University campus will assist with that, bringing in a cohort of students.

However, another focus needs to be attracting more families to live in the city, and this can be done through providing more amenities such as schools, shops and other services that are readily available in the suburbs.

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