TOWN PLANNING: LAYING OUT NEW TOWNS AND CITIES.
W. H. Price (Student) Sewerage Engineer's Office, Leeds.
Thomas Cole, ed., Proceedings of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers 34 (1912-1913), 42-57.William Henry Price (1891-1951) worked first as an articled clerk to his father, A. J. Price, Engineer Surveyor to the Lytham Urban Council and was employed there from 1908 to 1911. From 1911 to 1914 he was an Engineering Assistant working on sewerage and sewage disposal projects for the city of Leeds. Price identifies himself as a Student employed in the Sewerage Engineer's Office, Leeds. He presented this paper at the Annual Meeting of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers in London in July 1913. By 1915 he had become an Associate Member of the Institution. This is the first part of a longer paper. The second part --describing the plan he, his brothers, and his father submitted in the Australian Federal Competition of 1911-12--can be found elsewhere in this anthology.Town Planning played so prominent a part at the last Annual Meeting, that it is only the well-known interest of the Past President and the members generally in the subject that induces the Author to offer still another paper on town planning. The laying-out of a new town or city rarely falls to the lot of any one in these days, though Barrow and Eastbourne, and on a smaller scale, Port Sunlight, Letchworth, and other places, have been laid out and developed during the lifetime of the present generation. Speaking generally, it is to the newer countries, such as America, or our colonies and dependencies, that the town planner must look for the best opportunities for showing his skill in the designing and layout-out of new towns and cities.
In his application for membership in the Town Planning Institute many years later William Henry Price stated that from 1914 to 1919 he was "engaged on the South Birmingham Town Planning Scheme, & prepared Draft Plans in connection with a proposed Civic Centre." Later he became one of the District Surveyors of Birmingham. During this period he also served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 344th Road Construction Company of the Royal Engineers, doubtless on leave from his position in Birmingham.
At an October, 1919 meeting, the Council of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers council recommended the transfer of A. J. Price from Associate Member to Member. He was then Surveyor and Water Engineer to the Chesham Urban District council. William Henry Price also became a Member of the Institution on November 6, 1920. He was then Chief Assistant to the Borough Surveyor of Doncaster, a position he assumed in that year. In 1943 William Henry Price became Surveyor and Water Engineer of Doncaster. Given Price's early interest in town planning and his selection while still a student as a speaker on the subject at the annual meeting of his professional society, the absence of his name from the membership of the Town Planning Institute until 1949 is puzzling. In that year he was elected an Associate Member of the T.P.I., an organization that was founded in 1914.
In the Institute's records for that year he is identified as an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Probably Price felt that this was a superior qualification to membership in the T.P.I. Perhaps the greatly increased emphasis on town planning in Britain following the passage of the Town and County Planning Act of 1947 led him to apply for membership in an organization that would allow him to style himself a "town planner." He already held an important position in that field. The T.P.I. yearbook for 1949 lists him as Planning Officer, Borough Surveyor's Office, 2 Priory Place, Doncaster, the city where he had been employed since 1920. In reviewing his responsibilities in this field, an obituary notice published at the time of his death states: "As the town's chief planner Mr. Price foresaw Doncaster as a garden town with a civic centre, no houses in the business and shopping area, no bus traffic in the town centre, and open treelined spaces."
The laying-out of Delhi as the capital of India, and of the Federal Capital of Australia, are two of the largest and most recent schemes offering scope for the present day town planner, and it is a matter for congratulation to all members of the Institution that one of their Past Presidents should have been honoured by the Government as being the first man selected for the work of laying-out Delhi. That the work of Mr. Brodie and the gentlemen associated with him in the laying-out of Delhi will be of the greatest interest And be extremely useful to all members of our Institution there can be little doubt, and it is sincerely to be hoped that at some future time Mr. Brodie will be able to give to his brother municipal engineers the benefit of his experience in the laying-out of this historic city.
Although the conditions of the competition recently promoted by the Australian Government for laying-out the Federal Capital were not sufficiently inviting to induce many Englishmen to submit schemes, the competition still offered one of the few opportunities for putting into practice on a large scale the teaching of the past few years on town planning. Though the Federal Capital will probably never equal the size and magnificence of Delhi, it is still of sufficient importance to afford great scope for the skill and imagination of the engineer and architect; while it presented an opportunity for a young man to try his "prentice hand" that may rarely fall to his lot in the future.
The Author is not prepared to claim any great merit for the scheme which is described in the latter portion of the paper, and for which he was jointly responsible; but he is hopeful that the experience gained in its design will be helpful to his fellow students, if not to the older and more experienced members of the Institution. Experience is the best teacher, and it is only by actually sitting down to design such a scheme that one finds out his limitations and the difficulties with which the subject bristles, or learns how to apply the experience and teaching of past and present town planners to the requirements of to-day and the future.
It may be laid down as an axiom that each particular town or city will have some special characteristic or distinctive feature, that will influence and dominate the whole design. The social, civic, and industrial character of the city, and its situation and general topographical character have all to be carefully considered, and given their proper importance and place in the design. While some special feature is almost bound to predominate, there are still many features common to all cities; and it is possible to lay down something like general rules, while recognizing that exceptions will have to be made in particular cases, Among the first essentials for all well-planned towns are:-
1. The provision of an adequate water supply.
2. An efficient sewerage and drainage system.
3. Proper sanitary arrangements, scavenging, and the removal and disposal of house refuse.
4. The construction of main, secondary, and residential roads, and streets and bridges.
5. A railway system, tramways, or other means of communication.
6. Gas and electricity for lighting or power, and hydraulic, pneumatic, or other forms of power.
7. The provision of parks recreation grounds, and open spaces.
8. Public, industrial, and residential buildings, the necessity for architectural and artistic treatment of the public and private buildings, parks, etc.
In order to prepare a town plan for carrying out these works it is first necessary to define the area to be dealt with, estimate the probable growth and development for thirty or fifty years, and decide upon the character of the town. The site having been carefully selected with due regard to obtaining a good supply of water, disposing of the sewage, and the convenience and amenities of the population, the area should next be carefully surveyed and a plan made, preferably to a scale of not less than 1/2500, showing all the natural features of the area, such as woods, trees, rivers and streams,or hills, and giving contour lines at every 5 feet or 10 feet. Models of the site are unnecessary where a plan contoured to every 5 feet is provided. If a river or stream runs through the site the flood level should be shown, and in the case of a seaside town or tidal river the H.W.M.O.S.T. must be given.
Having obtained our contour plan with the natural features of the site, we next proceed to locate the different areas, such as government, civic, commercial, residential and industrial areas. With the growth of imperial officialism it is probable that most large towns will in the near future require an area for government offices; but, except in the case of a capital city, these can generally be combined with, or merged in, the civic area. In a capital city the Houses of Parliament with the Government offices will occupy the most important position, and these with the civic area embracing the city hall and municipal offices should have a central and dominating position. The commercial and shopping area will generally be best placed between the civic and residential areas, and the residential area will occupy the zone outside the central area and extend to the outskirts of the city.
The industrial area should be located so that the prevailing winds will carry away the smoke from factories without nuisance to the residential or other areas. Its convenience to railway, river, or canal is a matter of great economical importance to the industrial interests, as well as of convenience and comfort to the residents generally, by avoiding carting goods through busy streets. The planning of the principal streets and boulevards is perhaps the most important part of the laying out of a city. When the city is to be large and important its beauty depends very largely on the laying out of its streets, boulevards, bridges, and parks. The direction, width, gradient, and the laying out of the streets so as to provide vistas of the principal buildings, and the provision of squares, circuses, and crescents, are important points and call for very careful consideration. The question of straight or curved streets is one very largely of convenience versus picturesqueness. Generally, it may be said that in the baseness areas the streets should be wide, direct, and have as easy gradients as the physical character of the site will permit; while in the residential areas curved, irregular, and undulating streets will add to the beauty of the district, and will frequently prove more economical in construction.
The formal or informal systems of town planning, with the streets laid out rectangularly or radiating in the former case, and as rings or with irregular lines and gradients in the latter, each have their advocates. The wise course in this, as in other matters, is to avoid extreme and refuse to be bound to any one system. In practice it will generally be found that the rectangular and radiating systems are most suitable for the central and business areas, while the ring boulevard on the outskirts of the town is most convenient, and irregularity of planning in the residential portion of the town enhances the charm of the district and adds to the amenities of the resident.
The widths of the streets, while mainly governed by the traffic requirements, must also be considered in connection with the size and architecture of the buildings. Tall or imposing, buildings placed in narrow streets not only lose in architectural effect, but suffer from a sanitary point of view through want of light and air. On the other hand, too wide streets in working-class districts tend to the building of high tenement houses and flats, and overcrowding. The cost of the land as well as the cost of construction of streets must be borne in mind in deciding the width of streets, for where land is practically obtained for nothing and materials obtained on the spot as in the case of the Federal Capital of Australia, a greater width can be provided than in the case of London or Berlin, where land is costly, and materials are only obtained from outside the city. The sale of the land for building purposes, again, places at the disposal of the Australian Government funds for laying out the streets, bridges, and parks on more generous lines than the town or city where the land belongs to a number of private owners.
The majority of the bridges in London and throughout the country are too narrow for the traffic they carry, and in the case of a capital city, it is desirable that the bridges should be of an imposing width, and of a monumental character.
The disturbance of the roadways of our principal streets through making connections for water, gas, electricity and other purposes, is a source of great inconvenience to pedestrians, a danger to vehicular traffic, and an injury and loss to all engaged in business in such streets. That subways should be provided for pipes to avoid breaking up the roads is certainly desirable in the case of new cities, and in these days of coal and transport workers' strikes it will be a great advantage to be able to transport coal or other necessaries by subway. In many towns, as at Chicago, underground railways or subways would allow the goods stations to be located some miles outside the city, and the goods conveyed to the doors of the users in various parts of the town without interfering with the traffic in the streets. It is not desirable to have underground railways for passengers, but this can only be avoided in large towns by having roads of ample width to allow tram cars or motor 'buses to run without interfering with other traffic.
The tramway, trackless tram car, and the motor 'bus will probably all find a place in the design of an up-to-date city. The tramway is likely to be most economical and convenient in the central and busy parts of the town, while the greater flexibility and saving in track of the trackless trams or motor 'buses make them preferable for serving the outlying districts of the city.
A central railway station, with suburban stations convenient to the residential areas, is required. The goods station or marshalling yard should be placed at a spot where it taps the goods traffic coming into the city, and it should be convenient to the industrial area, with rails running into the chief factories or workshops,so as to save cost of transhipment or carting through the city.
Parks and recreation grounds are needed in all cities, and as far as possible all natural features, such as trees, forests, watercourses, hills, or ravines, should be preserved, and incorporated in the design of the parks. Low-lying land near a river which is unsuitable for building purposes can generally be utilized for recreative purposes, and forests and hills form a natural belt of woodland and park which not only present a splendid outlook from the city, but tend to preserve the health and amenities of the inhabitants.
The chief religious and educational buildings should be grouped together, and the cathedrals and university should have dominating positions so as to form a good landmark from all parts of the city. Smaller churches and schools should be located in various areas suitable to the requirements of the district. The art gallery, museum, library, and places of entertainment should be centrally situated, with baths, drill hall, fire station, markets, hospitals and cemetery in convenient spots.
The water supply is of great importance, and whether this can be obtained from the hills or lakes as an upland surface supply, from wells or springs, or from a river, can only be decided by a careful study of the physical character of the locality, with full particulars of the rainfall over a number of years, and a thorough knowledge of the geological formation. The selection of the gathering grounds, river, or wells, with sites for impounding and service reservoirs, filters, or pumping stations, and the arrangements for the distribution of water, all call for the expert services of the engineer.
The question of separate supplies for potable, trade, or sanitary purposes will also have to be considered; for unfiltered water can not only be used safely for many purposes where pure filtered water can now be badly spared, but it may also be possible to utilise many sources where the chemical or bacterial conditions make the water unsuitable for drinking purposes.
The sewerage system and the disposal of the sewage are important matters in the laying out and planning of a town. The engineer designing a scheme for a new city will, in the laying out of his roads and streets and the allocation of his different areas, constantly have to keep before him the lines and gradients of his sewers, and the position of the outfall or sewage disposal works. The obtaining of a purely gravitation scheme and avoidance of pumping if possible, are points which will require his careful consideration.
Storm water is frequently more difficult to deal with than sewage, though, where a river or good watercourses are available for discharging into, they simplify the difficulty to a great extent. On the other hand, the river or watercourse is frequently an additional source of trouble, owing to the necessity for prevention of flooding in the districts adjoining the river or watercourse. The impounding of the flood waters by reservoirs or lakes, or controlling the floods by raising the embankments of the river, and incidentally making possible the reclamation of low-lying, lands for parks or recreation grounds; or for the provision of weirs for holding up the river waters for boating and other purposes during the dry season, all call for engineering, skill and experience.
Scavenging and watering of streets play an important part in the well-being of any town, and the provision of suitable means for transporting and disposing of the scavenged materials, or for watering and washing the streets, has hardly yet received that close attention and study which it deserves.
The collection and disposal of refuse is another problem waiting fuller consideration. While the introduction of the refuse destructor has made a great improvement in the disposal both from the sanitary and economical point of view, the method of collection still leaves much to be desired. No method of house-to-house collection, with its vast amount of hand labour and untidy littering of the streets, can be considered satisfactory. It is not only desirable, but it also appears practicable and economical to provide for the removal of all dust and household refuse by pneumatic power, worked on the vacuum system. The vacuum cleaner has been in use for several years for removing dust from domestic articles. Sewage is now drawn to a central station by vacuum pimp at several places; and as we have pneumatic tubes for the conveyance of letters and parcels, there is no reason why the system should not be adopted for refuse collection in preference to the unsightly and insanitary method of loading by hand into carts or vans. The refuse would be simply tipped into a bin or hopper at each house or shop, connected to the pneumatic tube and controlled by valves, and be drawn to the refuse destructor, where it could be fed directly into the furnaces without handling. The steam generated from the destruction of the refuse would be sufficient to provide the greater part of the power required for the vacuum pumps, and it would therefore prove to be a very desirable, sanitary, and economical method of collection.
The paper up to the present has dealt chiefly with the engineering and purely practical portion of town planning; and while it can certainly be claimed that these are not the least important, it can readily be admitted that the architect, sculptor, and landscape gardener have an important part to play in the development of the town.
The engineer is mainly responsible for the laying out and utilitarian portion of the town planning, but for the completion and ornamentation of the town we turn to the architect, artist, and sculptor. The engineer and surveyor must provide opportunities for the exercise of the skill and taste of the architect by laying out wide streets, leafy boulevards, and stately squares on which he can erect his buildings. Buildings for national, municipal, ecclesiastical, educational, and entertainment purposes offer full scope for the architect to exercise his powers of design and artistic leanings without encroaching on the domain of the engineer and surveyor; while the domestic buildings give him an opportunity for displaying the common sense and good taste which has placed English domestic architecture in a class by itself. The battle of the styles may be left to the architects to fight out, but it may be said that a due regard must be paid to climatic conditions, the development and use of local materials, and historical associations or local usage. The use of statuary or monumental work in the adornment of the public, ecclesiastical, or other buildings, in the public parks, gardens, squares, and bridges, must be on generous as well as artistic lines, though unfortunately economical rather than artistic considerations too frequently prevent the sculptor being given the full and proper opportunity his art demands. The landscape gardener also cannot be ignored in laying out large parks or gardens; for a knowledge of plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers must be combined with artistic feeling and the power of planning, while the natural beauties of the site must be carefully preserved.
DESCRIPTION OF SCHEME FOR LAYING OUT THE FEDERAL
CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA.
The Federal Capital City of the Commonwealth of Australia is to occupy an area of about sixteen square miles, of which about nine square miles is dealt with in the scheme shown on Plate No. 1. An area of about nine hundred square miles lying about seventy miles from the sea and one hundred and fifty miles south-east of Sydney in the Yass Canberra country has been reserved as Commonwealth territory, and it is in the northern portion of this country that the Capital City is to be laid out.
The population to be provided for is 25,000, and in the scheme now described it was estimated that this population would be reached in some fifteen years, 50,000 in thirty years, and 100,000 in fifty years. The principal plan presented for the guidance of the competitors was a contour plan to a scale of 400 feet to an inch, which showed the Molonglo River flowing practically through the centre of the city, the flood levels, the chief watercourses, woods, and hills, the suggested position and levels of the railway, the geological formation, and the contours of the site at every 5 feet.
Several other plans were given showing the position of the Commonwealth territory; a topographical map of the territory to a scale of one mile to an inch; a contour map of 20 chains to an inch, and maps showing the rainfall and temperature statistics, and a geological survey of the site. A very full description of the requirements of the city was given with the conditions of the competition, and reports on the geology and rainfall of the district were also supplied.
Models of the site of the city were exhibited in Australia, London, New York, and several colonial and continental cities. The model exhibited in London afforded very little additional information beyond what could be obtained from the large contour plan, and although the principal features of the scheme were settled on the contour plan before the model was inspected, there was no necessity to alter any of these as the result of the inspection. The scale of the model was a natural one, and on the small scale to which the model, representing some nine or ten square miles, was necessarily plotted, 50 feet rise or fall was scarcely noticeable. The contour plan to a scale of 400 feet to an inch was issued in duplicate, on one of which the laying out of the city was to be shown, and this was practically the only plan necessary with the full information given in the instructions to competitors. The capital city is to be the seat of Government, with Houses of Parliament, Government Offices, and Courts of Justice; and except for the manufacture of government stores is hardly likely to have any large industries within its borders. It will be essentially a residential city.
The Molonglo River runs through the middle of the site, which is surrounded with well-wooded hills, rising from 800 to 1000 feet above the level of the river. The prevailing winds are westerly and south-westerly, and are very cold and biting in winter, and these had to be fully taken into consideration in allocating the different areas, and fixing the sites of the main buildings.
The Houses of Parliament were located on Camp Hill, south of the Molonglo River, the position being central and dominant, well sheltered by a natural belt of trees from the cold westerly and south-westerly winds in winter, and open to the cooling north winds in summer. It is approached by easy gradients from, and within easy reach of, the central station, and commands fine views of the Molonglo River and the distant wooded slopes of the Black Mountain and other hills on the north. The Government offices are grouped together convenient to the Houses of Parliament, facing the Parliament Square and The Mall. The Post Office and Courts of Justice are near the central station, and the State House, Art Gallery, Museum, and Reference Library lie between the Houses of Parliament and the church of England cathedral and the university. A Roman Catholic cathedral is situated to the south of the Houses of Parliament, and the road devoted to club land, shown as Pall Mall.
The Government and civic areas are kept distinct, though both are fairly central, one on the south and the other on the north side of the river. The City Hall is placed on rising ground north of the river, a few feet lower than the Houses of Parliament and presenting from them a fine vista through The Mall and High Street. All the city officials would be housed here, and a large public hall would be provided in the centre of the building. In the City Square the police courts, free library, technical school, banks, and offices would present a fine opportunity for architectural effect.
The commercial and shopping area lies between the City Hall and Molonglo River, arcades running between the main streets. The markets are near the centre of the city and on the tram route. Small shopping centres are provided on the outskirts of the city. Sites for offices, banks, and hotels are provided, the chief hotels and pensions being near the central station and facing the lake and gardens near the centre of the city.
The chief residential area is south of the Molonglo River, and west of the railway. The Governor-General's house is placed in grounds of about one hundred acres in area to the south of the park and Houses of Parliament, and the Prime Minister and other Ministers' houses face the west side of the park. The plots are laid out for detached or semi-detached houses, and the size of the plots varies from some seven hundred feet square to the labourer's cottage or bungalow with thirty feet frontage and one hundred and forty feet depth. The building lines vary from twenty-five feet to one hundred and twenty feet, according to the size of the house and depth of building plots. As all houses are detached or semi-detached, no back streets are required save in the shopping areas.
The industrial area is located near the south-eastern entrance to the city between the railway and Jerrabomberra Creek. The chief goods yard or railway marshaling yard is near this point, and as the bulk of the coal and materials coming into the city will be required for industrial purposes, it is a matter of great convenience and economy, and avoids carting through the city. The prevailing winds will take away the smoke without nuisance to the residential area. The gas, electricity, and refuse destructor works, tramway depôt and car shed, and Government factories are located in the industrial area, and connected with rails to the goods yard. The cattle market, abattoirs, ice factory, and cold stores, are also placed near the goods yard.
The main streets in the Government and commercial areas are generally straight and direct from one important point to another, The Mall, connecting bridge, and High Street, form a continuous straight line between the Houses of Parliament and the City Hall; though the view would to some extent be broken by clock towers in the Station Place and at the north end of the bridge. Two boulevards, east and west of The Mall radiate from Parliament Square, while the City Hall is the radiating point for eight streets. The two cathedrals form the focal points of important streets or avenues, and in the smaller squares, crescents, and circuses, the vista is formed by churches or other important buildings. The chief buildings being built on elevated sites are visible frown various parts of the city, while good views of the parks and river are commanded from large portions of the district.
The contours of the site are such as to make the gradients of many of the roads somewhat steeper than desirable but, except in one or two cases, it is possible to get gradients not steeper than one in twenty-five; and in the business area the steepest gradient would be one in forty. The main streets and boulevards are laid out of a sufficient width to meet the requirements of the larger population which it is expected the city will ultimately reach, and the sections on Plate No. 2 show that they will be largely laid out as tree-planted boulevards or avenues with grass or gravel margins, or central plots.
In a hot climate such as Australia shelter from the trees is very desirable, while the tree-planted space costs little to lay out, and is always available for throwing into the roadway should the traffic in the future require the widening of the road. The roads have been given a width which may seem somewhat excessive to English ideas; but it must be borne in mind that the land costs nothing, that the city is the capital of a country which is a continent, that suitable road materials may be obtained on the spot, that the revenue from the sale of the land is available for the road making, and that the roads are largely planted with trees, or laid out as lawns. There is, therefore, no reason to adopt the cheese-paring ideas of many of the promoters of Garden City competitions, either with regard to widths or materials for road making.
The principal road, "The Mall," is a fine open boulevard 400 feet wide. The main feature of this road is the central lawn, 100 feet wide, laid out with flower beds, fountains, and statuary. Footpaths 25 feet wide are planted with one row of trees on each side of the 40 feet roads for slow traffic and service to the Government buildings. Two further strips, each 35 feet wide, laid out with three rows of trees as avenues or promenades, adjoin the 50-feet roads on each side of the central lawn. These roads provide space for quick traffic, half of the road being macadam for horses and the other half tar macadam for motor traffic. The High Street, which is the chief shopping centre, is 200 feet wide, has 25-feet footpaths, two 50-feet roads, and a central tree-planted plot 50 feet wide, on to which passengers will alight from the tramways. Other shopping streets are 120 feet, 100 feet, and 80 feet wide according to the importance of the position and the traffic. In each case a large portion of the streets is taken up by grass and trees, which lend beauty to the streets, provide shade, and save expense in street making, The arcades, which are 30 feet wide between the shops, would have rolling stairways to transport customers or clients to the shops or offices above the shops on the ground floor. The main ring boulevards are 150 feet wide with 20-feet footpaths, two 30-feet roads, and a central plot 50 feet wide with 10-feet gravelled footpaths and 30-feet grass plot in which the tramways are laid. Trees on the footpaths and on the sides of the tram track make a pleasant avenue. Other roads are 100 feet, 80 feet, 60 feet, and 50 feet wide, according to requirements and importance. The Park Drive is laid out 150 feet wide with 25-feet footpaths, two roads each 30 feet wide, and a central riding track 40 feet wide.
Subways, as shown on Plate No 3, are provided for the Government and main business roadways. Under The Mall and the road east of Pall Mall the main subway is made wide enough for coal trucks drawn by a small electric locomotive, and the pipes are carried above on rolled steel joists. Pipes for water, gas, electricity, and hydraulic power, pneumatic tubes for house refuse, or postal purposes, telegraph and telephone wires, and in the near future, petrol and liquid air, may all be provided for. On the north side of the river the main subway under the High Street is simply a pipe subway, and both main subways give access to the main sewers. Secondary or shallow service subways are provided for pipes on each footway adjoining the shops, and private subways are shown to the Government buildings and clubs.
The main bridge over the Molonglo River and across the lake, shown on Plate No. 4, is 150 feet wide on plan, though it is actually only 100 feet wide, as it consists of two 50-feet wide bridges with an open space 50 feet wide between them. The roads are connected at intervals of 100 yards alternately with footways and carriageways carried by arches harmonizing with the bridge arches. This arrangement allows the traffic to continue over the bridge in a straight line instead of being diverted by the contraction of the road from 150 to 100 feet, where the bridge and road meet. It gives more light and air to the roads, river, lake, or gardens under the bridge, and lessens the tunnel-like character of the arches of the bridge. It allows a bridge of a somewhat novel and unique type to be constructed at a cost of little more than the 100-feet wide bridge, while presenting the appearance of a 150-feet wide bridge. It also affords opportunities for artistic treatment of balustrades, piers, and lamp standards. Pipe subways are placed under the footpaths. Other bridges are 80 feet and 50 feet wide, and footbridges are provided at several points over the railway and river.
Tramways are provided to reach the suburbs, and on the ring boulevards they are laid in the grass plot, which not only makes easier running and gives a pleasanter outlook, but saves enormously in the construction and maintenance of the track. The line and levels of the railway were suggested on the plan issued to competitors, and it was only necessary to alter the levels to provide headroom for the roads running under the railway bridges, or the railway under the road bridges. The Central Station is practically in the centre of the city, and suburban passenger stations are placed It miles north and 1 3/4 miles south of the Central Station.
The railway marshalling yards or chief goods yard is located at the south-eastern entrance to the city in the midst of the Industrial area, and large warehouses are erected there. Small goods yards are placed at the central and northern stations.
Ample provision is made for parks and recreation grounds, and the natural belt of woodland and park on the outskirts of the city will assist in the future development of the city. The chief park is located at the rear of the Houses of Parliament enclosing the hill called Kurrajong, and has an area of about 200 acres. It is well timbered and watered. The trees would be preserved as far as possible, and the watercourses would be made a picturesque feature with waterfalls, ferns, etc., as well as being used for storm-water purposes. A botanic garden, aviary, observatory, shelters, and braids, with fountains, conservatories, and shrubberies add to the attractiveness of the park. The roads are laid out as avenues for pedestrians, riders, and vehicular traffic. Smaller parks and gardens are provided in various parts of the city, and in the squares, crescents, and circuses, small enclosed gardens are shown. Large ornamental gardens with boating lake, bandstand, fountain, and terrace, are formed near the centre of the city adjoining the river. This land is below the flood-level and is protected by a broad tree planted embankment and roadway. The land below flood-level has practically all been reclaimed and reserved for recreation purposes; the stadium, cricket, football, and golf grounds, military exercising ground, racecourse, and show ground all being located in this area.
The Church of England cathedral has a church house and Bishop's residence near to it. The Roman Catholic cathedral has a presbytery and convent school adjoining, and there are churches in suitable situations for the other denominations. A university, high school, technical school, and four elementary schools are provided.
A national theater and a music hall are situated near the Central Station, and sites for other places of entertainment are provided in other districts. The barracks, gaol, and mint are placed near the eastern boundary, and drill halls are located convenient to the military exercise grounds and rifle range. A sanatorium, infectious diseases hospital, general hospital or infirmary, and cottage hospital are provided in suitable situations. Central baths and three open-air-bathing places, a cemetery containing three chapels and a crematorium, and a fire station, are also shown.
The Molonglo River is converted into a series of large lakes by impounding the river water by weirs. These hold the water up to such a level that it will make the river suitable for boating and bathing for about three miles, though at the same time the levels of the weir are kept sufficiently low to prevent flooding.
There is a considerable fall from the east to the west of the city, and no difficulty should be experienced in providing good falls for the main and other sewers, and avoiding pumping. The northern sewer would have to be carried across the river near the western weir, either by means of an inverted siphon, or by steel pipes supported on cast-iron piles and columns. The sewage disposal works are to be located some six miles west of the city. Storm water should be treated separately, and as far as possible the natural watercourses should be used for the purpose of storm-water drainage. They all empty into the Molonglo River, and where they run under the roads they will be culverted, or in some cases bridged over.
The collection of refuse from the Government and shopping areas would be by a suction pipe worked from the destructor works by a vacuum pump as described at page 48. The system might be extended to the residential areas, but if not, carts, vans, or motor wagons may be employed. For street watering and gardening purposes special pipes should be laid in the principal streets, boulevards, and gardens.
A longitudinal section to a natural scale of 100 feet to an inch, which though not reproduced in this paper it is hoped may be published in the Proceedings, was given from the Houses of Parliament to the City Hall. This drawing showed in section the Houses of Parliament as a domed building in the classic style, with terraces, gardens, and fountains in the Parliament Square and facing the Park; elevations of the Government offices; the colonnaded Station Square, with clock tower, and Station Hotel; the main bridge over the gardens, lake, and river; the banks and shops in the High Street; and a section through the City Hall. The style of architecture suggested for the public buildings was classic, or the adaptation of it known as renaissance, and the banks, hotels, and business premises were a somewhat freer type of the same style.
In conclusion, the Author hopes that the consideration of town planning in the wider and general view which he has attempted to place before the Institution, may prove to be of service even to those who are called upon to deal with only a small or partial scheme. The principles which underlie all sound planning are of wide application, and it is the study of these principles combined with common sense and experience which can alone produce the ideal town plan.
Selected, scanned, edited, provided with headnotes, and formatted as a web document by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Department of City and Regional Planning, West Sibley Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. Tel: (607) 255-5391, Fax: (607) 255-6681, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org To Top of Page To Homepage