In Praise of Older Houses 2

The second article looks at a typical older Perth house like this one, below, built in 1961 with double brick walls and a clay tile roof by a project home builder with little consideration of ‘optimal siting’ or ‘design for climate’ principles. Continue reading »

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In Praise of Older Houses 1

It only took a day to demolish a 50-year old house down the street. It was there yesterday morning, a neat but well-worn Californian style bungalow, and it was gone by the evening. Continue reading »

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Baby buses and baby boomers

There is a growing problem in Perth and elsewhere in the Western world, largely ignored to date by planners and politicians, and that is how we deal with the impact of the baby boomer generation. Continue reading »

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Some subdivisions don’t add up

Sometimes It all goes wrong with the sub-division; decisions made at a very early development stage that sentence occupants to a lifetime of living in a dark and cold house or expensive energy bills trying to mitigate the environmental misery. Continue reading »

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Half a McMansion

Australian one-family houses have been getting a whole lot bigger. The average size of a new house increased by 40% between 1980 and 2010, rising from 160 to 260m2 and we now have the largest average house size in the world. Over that same thirty-year period, there has been significant growth in one and two-person households in Australia, a trend that will continue with the baby boomer ‘bulge’ entering retirement and their golden years. Continue reading »

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Urban Bibbulmun

In 1972, the original planners of the Bibbulmun Track conceived a Lancelin to Albany walk, and when you look at the overview map of the current Track, taken from the excellent website, the northern terminus at Kalamunda seems an odd place to end what is becoming one of the Great Walks of the World. Continue reading »

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Greater Perth

Recent arguments in the media over the Perth, Cottesloe and Scarborough water front proposals continue the same discussion of past years on projects like the Northbridge Link and Perth Convention Centre. These debates reflect a major underlying problem – the division of roles between State and Local Government. While the advent of the Metropolitan Regional Authority and Development Assessment Panels suggest that Local Government (including the City of Perth) lack the resources and authority to tackle major game-changing projects, many people view them as undemocratic – State Government not trusting Councils to make major planning decisions  -  and disenfranchising local electors. Continue reading »

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Hello world!

Welcome to my Web page.

After a career in architecture and planning on a range of residential, tourism, educational, commercial and health projects in France. England, Fiji and Australia, and the last 20 years working as a university based architect/planner, I am now in semi-retirement, rebuilding my house, and doing independent research into affordable sustainable housing, the makeover of suburbs and the future of cities. As a pre-baby boomer, I am also looking at the lack of planning for a generation of oldies with the numbers that will surely skew the economy in Australia and most Western countries.

I use this blog to publish early drafts of articles intended for professional publications, and to gain feedback on ideas and concepts. Please feel free to make comments.

The human mind is like an umbrella – it functions better when open (Walter Gropius)

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