An intriguing flash-back of a flash-forward from Daily News in 1964. It is interesting to see the sought after image of Perth from 49 years ago, with the ideas and planning outlined in this newspaper article still relevant to city planning within Perth today.

Town Planning is a complex concept that is very much dependant on the social values and intentions of the time, Town Planning Commissioner of 1964 John Lloyd visioned this dream as the future of Perth. Ambitious in his designs many of the principles proposed are still not implemented today despite the obvious need. Ideas such as ‘all night shopping’ and ‘more public transport’ would boost Perth’s night-time economy and benefit the city in its entirety.

I’ve extracted some interesting quotes from the article;

“Our public transport system must be revolutionised”

“Ideally a shopper should be able to traverse the city without once crossing the street at street level”

“Lack of skyscrapers in preference to long, low horizontal buildings with ‘prestige’ towers”

“We must start making changes now – for the next 10 years will be the most critical in the process of providing for the future”

“Only one worker in three will take the family car to his job. The others will depend on a revolutionised public transport system”

“There’ll be no more “walk” signals – pedestrians and cars will be on separate levels”

One noticeably large difference is the use of the term ‘low horizontal buildings’ and ‘lack of skyscrapers’ when that is obviously not the case in Perth today. A valid point to be made about the article is the emphasis of public transport specifically the sinking of the Perth railway station and “Theoretically, a north-south railway line through the metropolitan area would be ideal” which has become reality. While not a comprehensive article and just a concept design of what Perth may have looked like in the year 2000 the characteristics and principles expressed are some of which we still seek in city planning today and in another 49 years we may still achieve that.

Planning is a very forward thinking profession and this blast from the past is representative of the foresight city planners require in the design and implementation of plans within a growing urban city, however not all ideas and concepts may be fully implemented into the city. What do you think Perth will incorporate into its city design in the next 49 years? Sound off in the comments section below!