March 12 - Canberra Is Christened!

Posted on March 12, 2020

The capital city of Australia is Canberra. 

Most large and important cities of the world, including most capital cities, are founded in a spot with good access to water - alongside a large river, say, or next to a natural harbor - and then grow to be large and important in a sort of willy-nilly way.

But a few cities are carefully planned. Brazil's capital city, Brasília, and the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., did not exist at all before being founded as a capital and planned before the first resident moved in. Canberra, also, was founded and planned as the capital of a new federation of Australian colonies.

On this date in 1913, Canberra was founded and named. The winner of an international contest for the city's design, American architects Walter Burley Griffen and Marion Mahony Griffen, soon broke ground and began construction.

The city's design included geometric features: circles, hexagons, and triangles. 

Also, at the time of the city's founding, there was movement towards using greenbelts and natural vegetation in urban planning. This garden city movement resulted in Canberra having quite a lot of planned greenery.

Unfortunately, the Griffens' design wasn't held to as the city was built. One big reason was that World War I broke out and a huge proportion of Australian men who were eligible to fight enlisted!

There does seem to be quite a lot of vegetation, though!!

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