The social, economic, and physical factors shaping the urban design of the Maylands redevelopment

1. Introduction

Maylands is a suburb located 7 kilometres northeast of the Perth CBD. It is bounded by the Swan River to the south and east, and is split between the local government areas of Bayswater and Bassendean.
The Maylands Peninsula was originally a wetland, and was subject to regular flooding. The swamps were drained in the early 1900s, and the area was used for market gardens and poultry farms. The area was also used for landfill until the 1970s.
The Maylands Redevelopment Area (MRA) was identified in 2005 as an area requiring urban renewal. The MRA covers approximately 128 hectares and includes the Maylands town centre, Maylands Railway station, and surrounding residential areas.
The objectives of the Maylands redevelopment are to create a vibrant and sustainable town centre, improve public transport connectivity, provide a mix of housing types and densities, and create quality public spaces.
The Maylands redevelopment presents an opportunity to create a vibrant and sustainable town centre that meets the needs of the community. In order to do this, it is important to consider the social, economic, and physical factors that will shape the design of the redevelopment.

2. Social and cultural factors in urban design

2.1 History and identity

Maylands has a long history dating back to pre-European settlement. The Waugal ( rainbow serpent ) is an important part of Noongar culture, and the Maylands Peninsula is home to one of the largest known concentrations of Waugal petroglyphs.
The suburb has undergone significant changes since European settlement, but has maintained its strong connection to the river. The Maylands Jetty was constructed in 1893, and was used as a landing point for boats carrying produce from market gardens in the area.
The construction of the Causeway in 1917 linked Maylands to Perth, making it a popular destination for day-trippers from the city. The Maylands Baths were built in 1928, and were a popular swimming spot for many years.
Maylands has undergone significant changes in recent years, with the closure of the railway yards in 1995 and the opening of new residential developments along Guildford Road. However, the suburb still retains its history and identity.

2. 2 Diversity

Maylands is a diverse suburb with a population of over 11,000 people. The population is evenly split between those born in Australia (50%) and those born overseas (50%). The top five countries of birth for residents are England (10%), India (9%), Italy (4%), New Zealand (3%), and Malaysia (2%).
There is also a significant Indigenous population, with 5% of residents identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples. The median age of residents is 36 years, which is younger than the Perth average of 40 years.
The diversity of Maylands is reflected in its food culture, with a range of cuisines available from cafes, restaurants, and takeaways. There are also several community groups that reflect the diverse range of cultures represented in Maylands.

2. 3 Social cohesion

Community cohesion is important for creating a sense of belonging and ownership among residents. It can be achieved through providing opportunities for social interaction, fostering shared values and common goals, and promoting a sense of pride in the community.
Maylands has a number of community facilities that provide opportunities for social interaction, including the Maylands Peninsula Sport and Recreation Club, the Maylands YMCA, and the Maylands Public Library. There are also a number of parks and playgrounds located throughout the suburb.
The Maylands Redevelopment Authority (MRA) is working with the community to develop a Community Engagement Strategy that will promote social cohesion through engagement with local residents, businesses, and organisations.

3. Economic factors in urban design

3.1 Prosperity

Prosperity is important for ensuring that urban areas are economically viable and liveable. It can be achieved through providing opportunities for employment, supporting local businesses, and attracting investment.
The Maylands redevelopment offers an opportunity to create a prosperous town centre that meets the needs of the community. The MRA is working with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Industry to deliver a range of programs and initiatives that will support local businesses and create jobs.
The Maylands Town Centre Plan identifies three key economic pillars – employment, retail, and tourism – that will drive economic growth in the town centre. The Plan also sets out a vision for the town centre as a “vibrant hub for creativity, innovation and enterprise”.

3. 2 Employment

Employment is essential for economic prosperity and social inclusion. It can be achieved through providing opportunities for work, supporting local businesses, and attracting investment.
The Maylands redevelopment offers an opportunity to create a prosperous town centre that meets the needs of the community. The MRA is working with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Industry to deliver a range of programs and initiatives that will support local businesses and create jobs.
The Maylands Town Centre Plan identifies three key economic pillars – employment, retail, and tourism – that will drive economic growth in the town centre. The Plan also sets out a vision for the town centre as a “vibrant hub for creativity, innovation and enterprise”.

3. 3 Walkability

Walkability is an important factor in urban design as it contributes to economic productivity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Walkability can be improved by creating pedestrian-friendly environments, including safe walking routes, accessible public transport, and attractive public spaces.
The Maylands redevelopment offers an opportunity to create a pedestrian-friendly environment that meets the needs of the community. The MRA is working with the Department of Transport to deliver a range of programs and initiatives that will improve walkability in the town centre.
The Maylands Town Centre Plan sets out a vision for the town centre as a “vibrant hub for creativity, innovation and enterprise”. One of the key goals of the Plan is to create an “attractive and safe pedestrian environment”.

4. Physical factors in urban design

4.1 Form

The form of an urban area is determined by its physical features, such as its topography, climate, vegetation, and built environment. The form of an urban area can influence its function, character, and liveability.
Maylands is a flat suburb located on the Swan Coastal Plain. The suburb has a moderate rainfall with an average annual rainfall of 864mm. The predominant land use in Maylands is residential with some commercial and industrial areas.
The built environment in Maylands is predominantly made up of single-storey detached houses, with some multi-storey apartment buildings and townhouses. The suburb has a mix of public and private open spaces, including parks, reserves, and sports facilities.

4. 2 Function

The function of an urban area is determined by its land use, which is the way in which land is used for activities such as living, working, recreation, and transport. The land use of an urban area can influence its form, character, and liveability.
The predominant land use in Maylands is residential with some commercial and industrial areas. The residential areas are made up of a mix of detached houses, townhouses, and apartments. The commercial areas are located around the Maylands town centre and include a range of shops, businesses, and services.
The industrial areas are located near the railway line and include a mix of light industry and warehouses. The public transport infrastructure in Maylands includes the Maylands Railway station and a number of bus routes.

4. 3 Sustainability

Sustainability is important for ensuring that urban areas are liveable now and into the future. It can be achieved through creating sustainable environments, conserving resources, and promoting social equity.
The Maylands redevelopment offers an opportunity to create a sustainable town centre that meets the needs of the community. The MRA is working with the Department of Planning to deliver a range of programs and initiatives that will improve sustainability in the town centre.
The Maylands Town Centre Plan sets out a vision for the town centre as a “vibrant hub for creativity, innovation and enterprise”. One of the key goals of the Plan is to create a “sustainable and liveable” town centre.

In conclusion, the social, economic, and physical factors that will shape the urban design of the Maylands redevelopment need to be taken into account in order to create a vibrant and sustainable town centre.

FAQ

The main principles of urban design are to create a space that is safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

These principles can be applied to the suburb of Maylands by creating pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, incorporating green space, and providing adequate lighting and signage.

The benefits of applying urban design principles to Maylands include improved safety, increased foot traffic, and enhanced community pride.