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The Griffin Legacy
Urban Development of the National Capital
Setting the scene
Canberra is built on the foundations of Walter Burley Griffin's design for the National Capital. Important features that characterise the city today include Lake Burley Griffin, the inner hills that contain the city and the main avenues that provide transport corridors and vistas to the surrounding landscape and important city landmarks.
Over time, Canberra has been shaped by distinct phases of development. Some of this development has responded sympathetically to Griffin's plan and some have not, but each has responded to the unique circumstances and needs of the time, and each leaves a characteristic mark on the National Capital landscape.
Use the URBAN DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL Background Notes and Map to complete the following research report.
What to do
- Study and report on Canberra's urban design.
- Describe the changing patterns of urban development in the National Capital.
- Record your findings in a 500 word report.
Key points within your report should answer the following:
- List the benefits for designing a planned city.
- Has the city plan expanded? Provide possible reasons for this expansion.
- Why did Griffin's plan for the National Capital not allow for urban development on the surrounding hills? Do you think his reasons are still relevant today?
- Should Lake Burley Griffin be expanded to represent the original 1918 Griffin design? Explain your reasons.
Find a map of your local district and indicate with colour pencils the sections
- Lakes and parks
- Public buildings
- Commercial businesses and shops
Answer these questions:
- Do you think there are enough recreation spaces for people living in the district?
- Are public buildings located appropriately for easy public identification and access?
- Is there a greater need for commercial businesses and shops?
- Should there be more urban development in the district?