FAME 2014 Journal – Grace (Adelaide Festival Centre, Australia)
I like to explore a place’s history when I move to a new city. I usually love walking around after work. There is a street called North Terrace which attracts me the most in Adelaide. North Terrace is often seen as Adelaide’s cultural boulevard since it is linked with significant government buildings and cultural institutions such as Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre, Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australian Museum, State Library, Government House, Parliament House, Campuses of University of South Australia and University of Adelaide etc. In just a few hours walk along North Terrace, you will get a glimpse of Adelaide’s cultural sense. Most of the cultural institutions are free admission and that’s why it is attractive for me to understand more about Adelaide by visiting different museums every weekend.
Photo above: Colonel William Light has founded the city of Adelaide and it is remembered as Light’s vision and commemorated with a statue on Montefiore Hill in North Adelaide. The status of Light is pointing to the city of Adelaide.
Besides the cultural boulevard, the city planning of Adelaide is worth studying. Colonel William Light is one of the Adelaide’s founding fathers. He was known for choosing the location and the layout design of Adelaide. He chose Adelaide as the place of development because of its geographical condition. Adelaide is adjacent to River Torrens, which offers the supply of fresh water, and when clouds drift over the nearby Adelaide Hills, there is rainfall, which makes good conditions for agriculture.
The city plan of Adelaide designed and drawn by Colonel William Light and the landscape is still remaining the same nowadays.
When Light was designing his city plan, he considered how the clean fresh air can fill Adelaide, thus, he set Adelaide in grid layout, interspaced with boulevard, with five public squares in the city centre, and surrounded by the parklands.
Though Adelaide is now described as a pollution free city where the skyline is always visible, Light's plan was unpopular with the early settlers, as well as South Australia's first governor, John Hindmarsh. Light persisted with his design against this initial opposition.
There is an extract from his diary in 1839 quoted on a plaque attached to the statue which is now on Montefiore Hill. It highlights the difficulties Light faced in having this site chosen. “The reasons that led me to fix Adelaide where it is I do not expect to be generally understood or calmly judged of at present. My enemies however, by disputing their validity in every particular, have done me the good service of fixing the whole of the responsibility upon me. I am perfectly willing to bear it, and I leave it to posterity and not to them, to decide whether I am entitled to praise or to blame.”
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) releases its Livability rankings for cities around the world in August 2014, Adelaide is coming in at number five, which is the second Australian city to make the list. This may be one of testimonies of Light’s establishment and why his plan is now acknowledged as "Light's Vision".
North Terrace is often described as Adelaide Cultural boulevard as it is linked with significant cultural institutions and historical buildings.