Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout site includes 900 hectares in total and is defined by the 1837 layout of streets including parks in the city centre and significant areas such as Victoria Square, Hindmarsh Square, the Botanic Gardens, Palmer Gardens and Brougham Gardens in North Adelaide.
Privately owned land between the road reserves in the city layout, the railway reserves and State Government lands and Institutions has not been included in the National Heritage Area.
The Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout model has been used widely by other towns in Australia and overseas. 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 is important to the identity of South Australia. It is a hallmark of the city's original design, which has maintained elements of its historical layout for more than 170 years.
Surveyor 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. These lasting elements of his 1837 plan still are still in existence today.
A city in a park
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.
Adelaide Park Lands also has strong links to the Adelaide community as a place for many leisure activities and civic events. Community groups have campaigned for its protection as far back as 1869.
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