Since 2014, geography teacher from Hale School, Byron Northmore, has been working with Harold Perks of Hames Sharley in an initiative to educate year 7 students about Transport Oriented Developments (TOD) and interconnected communities.

The objective is to discover the benefits and sustainability of such communities into the future, and hopefully get the students to re-think housing, transportation, business operations, community life and densification.

The students are taught fundamental urban design principles at Hale and Subiaco makes the perfect case study.

Together with Hale, Harold helped craft a walking route for the boys starting in the historical China Green site, then passing through mixed-use developments into Perth’s Subiaco Square where a Hames Sharley team met the boys for a 15-minute briefing on the history, opportunities and ultimate redevelopment of Subiaco Square (Hames Sharley was instrumental in Subiaco’s transformation during the late 90’s).

Each year, the Hale School tour has proven to showcase a new vibrant built form element within the Subiaco Precinct that is directly attributable to its original redevelopment that started more than 20 years ago.

This year included a few new high-rise mixed-use developments and a new retail development adjacent the square.

The walking tour takes the students through the Subiaco Square retail and residential components before heading over the station up Rokeby Road, weaving in and out of its laneways, up to the Primary School, then to the Arts Centre and City Council.

The boys are each assigned one of a multitude of family demographic types that need to live, work and play within Subiaco. Once the students have completed their walking tour they report back on the benefits of living in or near a TOD like Subiaco Square.

Harold says, “Every year is more interesting than the last, especially as the questions and opinions raised by the students become more complex given the exponential growth and influence of technology that is shaping the way we live”.

Some benefits identified by the students include sustainability, quality of life, housing choice or housing on offer, living with or without a car, local amenities, convenience of public transport and direct connectivity to Perth, Fremantle and to the rest of the metro area.

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