Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canberra - City Beautiful and Garden City Capital

I have never travelled to Canberra it was exciting and really fascinating to finally walk along the streets and lake edge so famously planned by American architect Walter Burley Griffin with drawings drafted by Marion Mahony Griffin.

I know that much was changed from the intial design intent however it still has some key elements and vistas, the legacy of such influencial periods of planning and construction is both good and bad....anyone who lives in Canberra would be acutely aware of the recent concerns regarding teh health of vast numbers of street trees...both those planted in the early 1900's and later in two equally large scale planting periods.

Some of my trip is posted on the VTGA Blog esp the Lone Pine at the National War Memorial Visiting the Lone Pine.

But here are some glimpses of the beauty I found during two lovely albeit cold days walking around parts of Canberra.

Typical streetscape (Northbourne Ave)

Somewhat famous vista looking downhill from the National War Memorial to some shed at the end of a driveway.

Very beautiful side street (Geerilong Gardens)

Flowering pear trees near Lake Burley Griffin

Nerang Pool northern edge of Lake Burley Griffin

Willow growing on the northern bank of Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin looking suitably cold

I do recognise that there are some very specific problems facing local government in the City of Canberra regarding their street trees, inadequate water supply and decades of limited resources which have left trees neglected.

There are no simple solutions to these issues of long term management and what are often very hard, unpopular decisions that might need to be made regarding specific streets and trees in very serious decline.

On a personal (and arguably overly simplistic) level I do feel that direct communication with communities is the only way of achieving progress. There is absolutely no point being surprised at community backlash to decisions that individuals and groups feel alienated from.