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Car-obsessed Perth encouraged to take new road

A former chief planner for Vancouver, Canada views Perth (above) as a car-crazed city that needs to invest more in public transit and high-density development. (Tupungato/

Sometimes it takes an outsider to help city leaders see a fresh perspective. The West Australian reports that international planning consultant Brent Toderian bristled at Perth’s obsession with cars during his first visit to the city this month.

He should know. As Vancouver’s chief planner from 2006 to 2012, Toderian oversaw a design strategy that deemphasized roads and automobiles. The Canadian city heralded for its livability has not constructed a highway in more than a half century, the article says.

Perth has Australia’s highest rate of car ownership. Toderian says Perth is at a crossroads. He advocates more investment in public transit and cycling infrastructure, coupled with more high-density development. “It’s not too late to change,” Toderian tells the newspaper, “but the longer you wait, the further down the wrong path you go, the harder it will be for you.” 

Toderian is so anti-car that he doesn’t own one back home in Vancouver. Instead, he relies on his bike and the extensive transit options he helped foster.

West Australian

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