Nothing beats learning by doing and the City of Cockburn was pleased to help Masters of Urban and Regional Planning students from The University of Western Australia get familiar with central Cockburn during field studies in the developing activity centre.
Lead by UWA School of Social Sciences’ Assoc. Professor Paul Maginn, a group of about 15 Planning Theory and Practice students used Cockburn Central and Cockburn Central West as templates to create their own community masterplans.
“This semester the students were required to develop what I call an outline concept masterplan. As part of my partnership with the City of Cockburn, the students got to know Cockburn Central/Cockburn West – the area between the train station and Cockburn ARC,” Assoc. Prof Maginn said.
“Part of the experience for the students is to get a taste of the real-life work of a planner; presenting in front of their university peers, professional planners and even local government elected members.
“Students had to complete a masterplan vision and proposal, a poster showing its key elements and then present to a panel of professional planners including City of Cockburn Chief of Natural and Built Environment Daniel Arndt, City of Cockburn Head of Planning Carol Catherwood and representatives from urban planning and design consultancy HATCH RobertsDay.
“The students are given free rein to propose whatever they think might work for the site. They are encouraged to think outside the box but be mindful of the realities of the project site, council, wider sub-region and also the practicalities and rationalities of their proposals.”
In August the students spent two days in central Cockburn familiarising themselves with the activity centre and completing field work.
They delivered surveys to 1,000 households and 200 businesses to learn more about how planners consider the needs of pedestrians, traffic, car parking, land use and the built environment to create vibrant, people-focused centres.
Mr Arndt said the City was pleased to support the planning students and was impressed by some of their ideas and feedback for activating the mixed-use development area.
“It was especially encouraging to see innovative ideas like building a cultural preforming arts centre, establishing a multi-storey primary school, creating a pedestrian bridge over Beeliar Drive linking through to the integrated health centre, moving traffic from Midgegooro Drive to Poletti Road, and expanding the active areas of open space,” Mr Arndt said.
“Cockburn Central West is an innovative mixed-use development, integrated with the City’s landmark $109m Cockburn ARC, one of the largest developments of its kind in Australia, at the core of the precinct.
“Cockburn Central town centre has a vibrant mix of residential, retail and commercial properties. It is located right next to the Cockburn Central Train Station, which provides frequent and fast access to the Perth CBD.
“These attributes make this area perfect for planning students to research to gain a greater understanding of what makes the whole Cockburn Central Activity Centre an emerging capital of the southern metropolitan region.”
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