Educational pop-up showcases sustainable designs

An educational pop-up shop showcasing sustainable housing designs has opened in response to the new Freo Alternative initiative, allowing visitors to speak directly with the designer behind the scheme.

The Fremantle council voted to change their local planning scheme last year – for areas throughout Hilton, White Gum Valley, O’Connor, Beaconsfield and Fremantle, with the amendments allowing for small infill development as an alternative to single lot division.

The pop-up is a joint initiative between West Australian Apartment Advocacy and designer John Damant, who opened the shop to educate residents of Fremantle about the reform and to showcase the clever designs.

The pop-up features interactive educational displays. Photo: Emma Beaumont

Mr Damant said the pop-up was inspired by the problem of urban density in the Fremantle area – an issue he had been working on for the past four years.

“There has been a lot of controversy over infill, and we have been trying to work out how to tackle the issue of infill more sensitively,” Mr Damant said.

“The aim is to do infill that is not going to be as controversial as the current lot of infill.”

Mr Damant said the pop-up would be married with an educational program over the two months it was open.

“We have our educational displays here that deal with the Freo Alternative, as well as dealing with ‘the missing middle’, which is the medium density housing that is missing between the single houses and the more dense houses,” he said.

Boards displaying information on the different designs can be found throughout the pop-up. Photo: Emma Beaumont

Mr Damant said he planned on moving the pop-up to other Perth councils facing a higher density future.

“It is a great way to triple density in existing suburbs, but you don’t lose the tree canopy whilst retaining seventy percent urban space,” he said.

“We want to get other councils to bring their public in to understand more about the infill developments.”

Designer John Damant discussing moving the pop-up to other councils. Video: Emma Beaumont

Minister for housing Peter Tinley, who officially opened the pop-up on Sunday, said it was important the City of Fremantle take a creative approach to achieving quality infill development.

“WAAA’s ‘missing middle’ pop-up shop is a great example of how we can think outside the box and work towards improving the liveability and connectedness of our suburbs,” Mr Tinley said.

Visit here for more information on the Freo Alternative.

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