Many visitors to Australia assume that all the states and territories were established by convicts in the late 1700ís. While this part of our history is known and understood, this is not the case in all Australian settlements.
A number of settlements were established by free European settlers and the capital city of South Australia, Adelaide is one of these.
The Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout is widely regarded as a tour de force of urban design and signifies a defining moment in the settlement of Australia. It was the first place in Australia to be planned and developed, not as a penal settlement or military outpost, but as a place for free colonists.
It is very interesting to note that in 1837, Colonel William Light planned and founded the city of Adelaide in only eight weeks. His planning ideas were thought to be a little eccentric, and included more than 900 hectares of parklands that surrounded and divided the city with wide streets and avenues separated by the Torrens River. A number of town squares were also planned to give the feeling of space and light to the metropolitan city centre.
Many popular features and parks include Victoria Square, Hindmarsh Square, the Botanic Gardens, Palmer Gardens and Brougham Gardens in North Adelaide.
Colonel Light managed to create a city in a park concept which has been used widely throughout the world. Town planners and developers have recognized the combined Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout as a model that can be copied and used throughout other countries, especially in these times of greening cityscapes and sustainability of environments.
Fortunately, the inhabitants of Adelaide as far back as 1869 have lobbied for the city and parklands to remain virtually untouched by development. The streetscapes of beautiful old sandstone buildings, lots of trees and parks and facades has been retained and affords Adelaide and itís parks the visitor to really sense the magnificent planning concept that Light introduced to the world.
On 7th November 2008 The Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout was listed in the National Heritage Listing for all to enjoy.