Metropolitan Regional Context

The St. Andrews site is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean about 50 km (30 miles) northwest of downtown Perth, Western Australia in the City of Wanneroo (the site is still within the 1st Metropolitan Area.) Directly east of the site is Yanchep National Park. Directly to the north of the site is the proposed Wilbinga Caraban Reserve National Park. With the exception of two small already urbanized areas — the coastal communities of Yanchep and Two Rocks — the nearly 5,000 hectare site (12,500 acres) is largely undeveloped and is controlled mostly by a single owner.

The question has been asked as to what kind of densities are appropriate for the St. Andrews site, as it is largely undeveloped and located in the Northwest Corridor so far from downtown Perth. But it is precisely for these reasons that urban densities should be considered for this site. The demographic data is overwhelming: urbanization is coming to this corridor, and the only real question is what this growth is going to look like when it comes. Will it be more piecemeal development of the conventional suburban variety, with cookie-cutter tract homes and auto-oriented strip malls, or will it be transit-oriented, sustainable, and mixed-use with the densities necessary to support these qualities? Several important regional factors influence the site and make it an appropriate setting for urban growth:

  • Site is Located in High Growth Corridor: All available demographic data suggest that urban development is moving rapidly northward to meet the St. Andrews site. The population clearly wants to be near the coast, and available land is most plentiful to the north.

  • Regional Rail Will Connect Site to Downtown: There are plans to connect the St. Andrews site to downtown Perth with regional rail service. This link will connect the site to the jobs and cultural amenities of a major population center, and it will give the region access to the more than 50,000 jobs planned for the site.

  • Preserved Open Space Will Stop Urban Development: With the existing Yanchep National Park to the east and the proposed 8,000 ha. Wilbinga Caraban Reserve directly to the north, the St. Andrews site will be the termination of urban growth in the Northwest Corridor.