Midland Metro (the City Centre) is an urban renewal success story: it’s official. It has just won a prestigious Urban Development Institute of Australia WA (UDIA WA) Award of Excellence.
The Midland Redevelopment Authority (MRA) entered the Midland Metro project (bordered by the Great Eastern Highway, Cale Street, Helena Street and the Crescent) into the Awards as a leading example of how urban regeneration can give rise to new life, create a pleasant environment with better amenity and connectivity, and also encourage an inner-city resident community to set up home and flourish in a oncedepleted area.
Originally, much of this area was covered by Tuohy Gardens, containing a group of cherished but poorly maintained heritage buildings, and a public garden that had become a focal point for antisocial behaviour. It also included ageing privately owned commercial and residential properties and a badly lit public car park, once a rail reserve and siding. Out of this, the MRA created Juniper Gardens and The Crescent: a new public park and wide, tree-lined walkways with a boulevard fringed by shop-top housing,
apartments and mixed-used development. The heritage buildings now house the Midland Junction Arts Centre, cafes and a microbrewery, and have created a cultural heart for the city.
‘This award is a tremendous acknowledgement not only of the MRA’s work, and its partnership with the City of Swan, but also it is well-deserved recognition for the people of Midland, who initiated this vision for their City back in 1997 with the first Enquiry by Design Charrette,’ said Kieran Kinsella, CEO of the MRA. ‘We’re proud to have made many of their aspirations into reality, and this UDIA Award for Excellence in Urban
Renewal sets the seal of approval on the project.’
‘The City Centre is now a vibrant part of greater Midland, and investment in the development has stimulated real economic growth, new employment, the beginnings of a night economy and apartment living with significantly increased residential density,’ he continued. ‘I think people are now proud to acknowledge they come from Midland and are keen to stay on and invest in the journey ahead – which includes the major new hospital on the Midland Health Campus site, and the creative redevelopment of the former Railway Workshops site.’
The MRA’s prizewinning submission in the Urban Renewal category of the State Awards will now go forward to the national round of the UDIA’s Awards for Excellence, to be announced in Perth early next year.