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The Emergence of Suburban Terracing on Coastal Dunes: Case Studies along the Perth Northern Corridor, Western Australia, 1930–2010


In the rapidly expanding suburban periphery of Perth in Western Australia, highly malleable coastal dunes are substituted with expansive artificial topographies of level lots terraced with retaining walls. Although efficient for facilitating current engineering, construction and real estate standards, large-scale terracing significantly impacts ecological systems and place-making processes. The article explicates the emergence of terracing in Perth through analysis of topographic transformation in suburban developments since the 1930s. Understanding the design, engineering and cultural factors that drove increased topographic manipulation over this timeframe provides an important foundation for establishing more topographically sensitive urban design practices in coastal settings.

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