Canberra CityFebruary 3, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C
This was a strange place. It didn’t exist in 1900 other than as a sheep station in the middle of nowhere - In 1824, Joshua Moore built a homestead named Canberry, whose name was derived from a local Aboriginal language; its meaning is disputed Australia became a nation on 1 January 1901, when the British Parliament passed legislation enabling the six Australian colonies to collectively govern in their own right as the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia decided that it needed to have a capital, but could not use any of the capitals of the existing states. It had to be within the state of New South Wales, but at least 100km from Sydney.
Once a suitable location for the capital was found, in 1911, the Australian Government launched an international competition for the design of a new capital. Walter Burley Griffin (from Chicago) submitted designs drawn by his wife, Marion Mahony Griffin, and beat 136 other entrants to win the competition. However, his plan was never fully realised as he stayed in Chicago and an Australian government committee Was appointed to oversee the building of the city, but they didn’t particularly like the winning design and started selecting elements from various plans and began reworking the winning design. So much for democracy.
I won’t bore you with the design principles etc. As a city it has a beautiful layout, big man-made lakes created by damming the river, plus some magnificent buildings. However, in our eyes it lakes soul, life and any sort of “vibe”. It lacks the hustle and bustle of a city. We have been in Brisbane and Sydney at 5pm and watched the cafes, bars and restaurants fill up in the city centre; that didn’t happen in Canberra, it was dead.
I’m sure that the commute to work along the multilane roads carrying half a dozen cars is very easy, but I wonder if Canberra needs a million or more people living in it to give it some energy?
We drove up to the tops of Mount Ainslie for a spectacular view across the cityRead more