When Perth was founded in the nineteenth century the waterfront was a centre of transportation…

Case Study Overview

When Perth was founded in the nineteenth century the waterfront was a centre of transportation and

trade. But various twentieth-century developments (a strip of reclaimed waterside parkland; a road

network upgrade) separated the river from the city. Until now, there were very few buildings on the

river, just thirsty underused parkland needing an unsustainable level of irrigation. Perth has been trying

to reconnect to its waterfront ever since.

The Swan Elizabeth Quay is a waterfront precinct that unites central Perth with the Swan River. Its focus

is a 730m terraced promenade surrounding a newly formed inlet, and an island created by excavating

the land that joined it to the shore.

The island is planted with indigenous species to encourage wildlife. It is a venue for large public events

and, between events, a secluded place to relax. There is a children’s playground and the soft garden

landscape is an oasis within the surrounding city. The island has a stone revetment and a sand ramp

designed for small recreational craft and wild swans. There is a water-treatment facility for surface run

off—a sustainability measure to preserve water quality. Elizabeth Quay is programmed for specific uses

including festivals, Anzac Day celebrations, particular performance types and sports including volleyball.

There are places for eating and drinking.

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