Of late, it has been impossible to miss the new additions to Canberra’s skylines—towering cranes and the buildings they’re creating. With all this growth, much of it skyward, it begs the questions: is Canberra still the bush capital, and should it be?
Here at Perspective, Canberra’s distant horizons, expanses of open space and abundant trees are near and dear to our hearts. They’re one of the many things we love about this city and we don’t think that should be changing.
Even major roads and thoroughfares are bordered by groves of natives trees and exotic ones, changing colours from autumn reds to spring wattle yellows and leafy summer greens. This abundance of foliage, the numerous winding lakes and the occasional sight of kangaroos by the road are striking to those who’ve lived for years in a big city, like Perspective colleague, Samara.
“Some of the wealthier suburbs of Melbourne have gorgeous, tree-lined streets, but just as often it’s concrete and pavement with little nature to combat it. I’ve been in Canberra for a year now, and every afternoon when I drive home, I’m still struck by its beauty.”
Canberra is unique in Australia, planned around belts of native bushland providing welcome respite from urban sprawl. Those spaces share their identity as elements of Canberra Nature Park, a many splendoured, many tendrilled thing that crops up in the most unexpected places. For it’s not one park but many … consider that Black Mountain and pretty well all the other hills that dot Canberra, along with open urban forest and bushland areas, wildlife reserves, wetlands – all 30 plus of them – are part of the same park.
There aren’t many places in the ‘burbs more than a quick walk away from the park in any of its guises. With that come opportunities for social interaction, proximity to nature, to rare and endangered species, to a quality of life all too often abandoned in the big smokes.
But the current state of Northbourne Avenue, with its trees cut down and jail-like fencing in preparation for the light rail network, makes one wonder how long this natural beauty will last as the city expands. Continue reading