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Australia Canberra

city and valley

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA. Like the city of Wash ington, this capital of the Commonwealth of Australia is an artificial creation. Just as our constitution authorized the choosing of a federal district to become the seat of government of the United States, so the constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, adopted in 1900, provided for a new capital which should be separate from the capital of any state.

After nearly ten years a site in New South Wales, in southeastern Australia, was chosen as the territory within which the new city was to be erected. It includes 900 square miles, and in addition two square miles on Jervis Bay for a port and naval college.

The plan accepted for the new city, in 1912, was based upon designs submitted by Walter Burley Griffin, a Chicago architect, in a competition open to all the world. It presents a pleasing picture of hills crowned with beautiful buildings, and lowlands bordering a great artificial lake made by damming the sluggish waters of Molonglo River. Along the shores of the lake, and stretching far back, is an area of parklands unequaled in any other city of the world.

On the summit of the ridge overlooking the valley stands the capitol building, and on a minor spur, just below, the houses of parliament. The chief residential quarter lies on the southern hills behind the capitol, well back from the valley. To the right and in front of the capitol are public offices; to the left, official residences. Across the valley are university build ings, hospitals, etc., on the lower ground, with a residential suburb higher up to the north. The in dustrial section of the city is relegated to the upper end of the lake. The plans contemplate a permanent population of 25,000.