FAQ from the draft concept design

Aside from responses on play equipment and access to Hines Rd, the responses to general queries received about the draft concept design are included below:

Q- Is the limestone path suitable for young children's bikes/ skateboards/ scooters?
A- The limestone paths are suitable for bikes and scooters, but not for skateboards.

Q- Will there be lighting?
A- The cost of providing additional lighting is expensive and not included in the cost estimates. There is an existing street light directly above the park area.

Q- How are you going to water the small lawn?
A-  Scheme water will be used for irrigation with opportunities to utilise off site water harvesting being explored.

Q- Can we also have the bitumen turn-around incorporated to give a little more space? Are we keeping the two parking spaces at the east end of [Clarke] St?
A- The two parking spaces / turnaround at the end of Clarke Street will remain as-is to provide for local car movements.

Q- Will the landscaped verges be returned to the City?
A- The intent is not to take over the community verge but to increase planting.

Q- What is 'sensory planting'?
A- Simply plants that smell and look nice.

Q- Why pull up what has been planted to replace with 'native scrub' ground cover?
A- The only vegetation proposed to be removed is the shrubs in the centre to make way for the lawn picnic area and possibly two shrubs towards Hines St. Replanting as per the plan will take place to enhance the verges, in consultation with close property owners.

Q- Will the 'bioswale garden' become a breeding ground for mosquitos?
A- The bioswale will be planted so the water will still drain quickly and also have uptake by the plants so there won’t be water pooling for mosquito breeding.

Q- Will there be dog poo disposal bags available? Will there be a place to tether dog leads?
A- 
Disposal bags and dog lead tethering will be explored in the detailed design of the park.

Q- This area was previously a road and it may not have been broken up when covered. If so it will be difficult to plant anything significant (eg large shade trees) been allowed for in the calculations?
A- The cost estimate includes contingency should buried road base be present and required to be broken up for deep tree planting.


Overall, the design was received positively. The two main responses were to improve the active equipment for children and differing views on balancing pedestrian safety with access to the site.  

In response to this, the ‘custom play item’ specified on the draft concept plan will now be a swing with other play elements for young and older kids. We are also looking at how to incorporate informal exercise elements.

We aim to design a space that carefully balances access to the site (for bikes, prams, wheelchairs and postal delivery) while inhibiting informal motorbike access and stopping young children doing a ‘bolt’ towards Hines Road. At this stage a carefully designed pedestrian chicane (or similar) remains the preferred option to achieve this as gates can provide problems with access and require more ongoing maintenance. The technical design will address this in further detail. 

The final concept is below:


What is a pocket park?

Pocket parks are areas of open or green space that can be enjoyed by local residents, the term 'pocket' refers to their small size.

Open and green spaces provide a range of positive effects for communities. Functions of the space could include a place to sit or relax, play, meet friends, take a lunch break, read a book, walk the dog, or for neighbourhood gatherings.

As part of a strategy to green Fremantle, the City is working to provide usable open space within walking distance for every resident and worker in the City of Fremantle.

The 400m walkable catchment target is derived from the basic building block of walkable neighbourhood design. The idea is the community has access to open space within a five minute walk, which is about 400m.

Alternative and innovative methods such as public access to private open space and creative use of verges and road reserves could assist in taking up this shortfall.

There are several pocket parks already in the City of Fremantle, and many other examples from Australia and overseas. We have provided an online gallery with a few local examples.



Why was this site chosen?

As the map below shows, residents in this area of Hilton do not have public open space that is a close walking distance and easy to access (without the need to cross busy streets such as Carrington and South streets).

The City of Fremantle carried out a detailed analysis of potential open space in this target area, taking into account a range of factors:
• land ownership
• site conditions, services and site-work requirements
• pedestrian accessibility
• public transport accessibility (ideally within 500m of a bus stop)
• road accessibility
• nearby facilities
• surrounding amenity
• passive surveillance
• population and demographics.


The Clarke Street (cul-de-sac) site was chosen because it:
• is primarily City-owned land
• requires minimal site works
• has good footpath connectivity
• is near three bus stops (Carrington, South & Watkins Streets)
• is near a café (Hines Café)
• has good passive surveillance
• households in this area have a high level of school-aged children.

Both the lack of public open space within walkable distance and potential community use of verge areas have been identified through previous community engagement and public consultation in this area.

Can an alternative site be chosen?

The City is not able to purchase land for this project, and a previous analysis has identified this is the only suitable location in this area of Hilton.


How can I get involved?

The City invited local residents to get involved in the development of the pocket park by contributing vision, ideas and skills to the design process through an on-site information session, providing feedback online and at a community design workshop.

Based on the community vision a draft concept design for the space was created by Josh Byrne & Associates. Local residents provided input to this draft and feedback was incorporated into design changes. Once complete the final design will be submitted for budget and further updates will follow.  


What will guide the concept design for the space?

There are two documents which will be used to guide the concept design for this space.

The proposed pocket park is part of the City of Fremantle’s Green Plan 2020, which has a target to provide usable open space within walking distance for every resident and worker in the City of Fremantle.

The City’s Play Spaces Plan (2013-2016) differentiates between major and local play spaces:

  • major play spaces service a large catchment and include parking, toilets, sports facilities, bbqs and more.
  • local play spaces service a highly localised catchment (less than 1km). They may provide shelter/shade, seating, play equipment, natural landscape features and access for people with disabilities.

The Department of Sport and Recreation also use a classification framework for public open space, with a hierarchy depending on catchment size:

  • local
  • neighbourhood
  • district
  • regional

As the proposed Hilton pocket park services a 400m walkable catchment and is intended for the immediate neighbourhood, the local play space provisions will be used as a guide for the community to develop their agreed priorities. 

What community feedback has been received?

As of mid-October, we've received a total of 99 suggestions and feedback responses through the online survey and the on-site information session to the following questions: 

  1. What is your response to the potential pocket park at the east end of Clarke St, Hilton?
  2. Please list any functions this space might provide for you (e.g. a place to relax, a rest spot during a walk, somewhere to take the dog, an area for children to play).

The majority of people gave their support for this proposal. Some specific comments were that this proposal would mean no need to cross a major road to access a park, and that it would provide a place for the local community to connect.

The main concerns were around the proximity to the Hines Road, and potential noise and parking.

The main function requested was a place for children to play, with some specific suggestions of nature play. Other themes were an improved place to relax and sit, and a place for neighbours to meet.

How will the community priorities be used?

Following a positive response from local residents to the pocket park opportunity, a community design workshop will be held in late October. The purpose of the workshop is to determine community priorities for the space as well as working through the concerns that have by examining various design options to address some of the challenges for this unique site.

The workshop outcomes will inform a concept design for the pocket park; this will be prepared by landscape architects Josh Byrne & Associates. The community will have the opportunity to review this design and have further input.

The concept design will be costed and submitted for consideration in the 2017/18 budget. Further updates will be provided following this.