Australia: Adoring Adelaide

National Trust of South Australia

The National Trust of South Australia is joining the INTO blogathon and marking World Heritage Day with the launch today of own new blog based website, Adelaide City Heritage. The new Adelaide City Heritage website creates an open, interactive online space to promote public debate about the value and future of heritage in the City of Adelaide. We hope you will take the time to visit us soon!

Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. It was established in 1837 according to the visionary plan of Colonel William Light. Light’s plan and the parkland ringed city it inspired are now recognised as being of national heritage significance.

Image Credit: Mike Swaine

Adelaide South Australia, a city wrapped in a park with plenty of heritage to explore, and protect!

Colonel William Light planned and founded the city of Adelaide in only eight weeks. His vision was for a metropolitan city surrounded by more than 900 hectares of park lands, with wide streets, several town squares, and the flowing Torrens River separating two major city areas (North and South Adelaide). These lasting elements of his 1837 plan are still in existence today.

The Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout is widely regarded as a masterwork of urban design and signifies a turning point 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 settlers.

The area received Australia’s highest heritage honour when it was included in the National Heritage List four years ago.

Adelaide is the only Australian city to be completely enclosed by park lands and has the most extensive and intact 19th century park lands in Australia. The Adelaide Park Lands also have strong links to the Adelaide community as a place for many leisure activities and civic events. Community groups have campaigned for their protection as far back as 1869.

The Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout model has been used widely by other towns in Australia and internationally. It is recognised by town planners and historians as a major influence on the Garden City planning movement, one of the most important western urban planning initiatives in history. The picturesque Adelaide Park Lands are important to the identity of South Australia. They are the hallmark of the city’s original design, which has maintained elements of its historical layout for more than 170 years.

Despite the extraordinary legacy of Light’s vision for the City of Adelaide, battles to preserve the city’s built heritage and protect its ring of parklands have been frequent and hard fought. As well as showcasing the city’s remaining heritage treasures, the new Adelaide Heritage website enables visitors to see also what has been lost. The blog space will present news and opinion from different stakeholders in the ongoing heritage debate and enable everyone to participate more easily and quickly through the integrated use of social technologies including Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Through this new website, the National Trust of South Australia will play host to those discussions, facilitating, fuelling and extending debate on current heritage issues within the City of Adelaide. The site also includes the most comprehensive online record of heritage listed sites in the city area. A tours section encourages residents and visitors alike to explore the city’s heritage more deeply and to discover its hidden secrets and little wonders as well as its familiar landmarks.

In keeping with the theme of education we thought we thought we would invite INTO blogathon readers to explore the history of education in Adelaide through its heritage buildings. Our self-guided heritage trail Exploring Education in the City takes you around the city, and through the history of education from the earliest church and public schools to our first university building. There is a rich legacy of educational philosophy and practice written into the design and development of the city’s education architecture. You can take the tour via Google Maps. Enjoy the 10 stops using Street View and find out more here.

  • The National Trust of South Australia manages historic sites, natural reserves, important museums and folk history collections. Although established under an Act of Parliament in South Australia in 1955, the National Trust is not a Government body and relies on membership fees, sponsorship and museum entry fees for its survival.

2 thoughts on “Australia: Adoring Adelaide

  1. Pingback: Is Colonel Light’s Vision for Adelaide Outmoded? | This Everyday Australian

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