Slattery hosted a group of leading designers, planners and CEOs in a dynamic panel discussion in Perth this week, facilitated by Slattery Director of Clients and Strategy, Belinda Coates. The forum featured a key note from Marion Fulker, CEO of The Committee for Perth then joined by Peter Lee, an International Director from architecture studio HASSELL who is also Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, and Sharyn May, CEO of The Maytrix Group in a robust panel. The panel members explored several topics provoking a stimulating conversation centred on economic value derived from cultural tourism in Perth and the impact it can bring to commercial, tertiary, hotel and retail sectors.

The select group of guests included CEO and senior level attendees from City of Perth, South West Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, Chamber of Arts and Culture WA, CEDA, Woods Bagot, Cox Architecture, Urbis, Total Project Management, Fratelle, Edith Cowan University, Perth Airport and the Western Australian Museum amongst others.

The panel explored the challenges and opportunities for Perth, what is important for the economy and a growing population, inbound international tourism and education, the importance of density, and how arts and culture contributes to city vibrancy. The panel touched on recent reports and studies on Perth, WA Infrastructure, tourism and several projects at length including the Optus Stadium, the forthcoming WA Museum, the waterfront development of Elizabeth Quay, Perth Arena and the Treasury Building. These are significant investments in culture and acknowledge the value of developing infrastructure for Western Australians to enjoy while playing a vital role in attracting employers and visitors to Perth.

The need for an ongoing pipeline of projects was discussed, and how government plays an important role by ensuring the right policy framework as well as driving investment, skills and training. Collaboration, leveraging and creating synergistic outcomes was seen as critical to getting the right planning and investment in place that will position Perth as a destination, and one that places Noongar culture front and centre, embracing Perth’s Indigenous heritage.

With the new Optus Stadium and forthcoming WA Museum added reason to visit Perth, alongside its stunning natural environment and access to Noongar (Indigenous) culture, cultural tourism in Perth creates the potential for new cultural venues and facilities to develop that will support a growing tourism market whilst driving local pride, city vibrancy, and the economy.

Consulting with Government, communities and artists is important to aid planning, while establishing clear meaning and purpose in design is integral to ensuring existing communities and new audiences engage and connect with a place.

Perth has a substantial opportunity to grow its share of international and domestic tourism, exploiting its proximity to Asia, new air-routes, Indigenous and natural heritage, with government and industry able to collaborate to help drive this through the built environment.

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