Continued Improvement and Beautification? Town Planning in Launceston 1930-1945
Petrow, Stefan, Continued Improvement and Beautification? Town Planning in Launceston 1930-1945, 15th International Planning History Society Conference, 15-18 July 2012, Sao Paulo, Brazil, pp. 1-12. ISBN 9788580890204 (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]
In the 1930s the regional city of Launceston in northern Tasmania, Australia
developed a town planning consciousness These reasons included the
appointment in 1930 of a new City Engineer who was a town planning
enthusiast, the revival of the Northern Tasmanian Town Planning Association in
1933, the leading role taken by architects who trumpeted the virtues of town
planning, and the support of the Fifty Thousand League, a booster organization
intent on expanding Launcestonís population and economy. These forces
combined to preserve and extend Launcestonís reputation as a beautiful city.
The City Council was receptive to calls for further beautification of the city,
but created tensions with the town planning movement because of its
reluctance to spend large amounts on town planning when faced with
implementing an expensive flood prevention scheme. Further tensions were
created by the State Governmentís disregard of plans for city improvement.
World War 2 initially slowed the momentum of the town planning movement.
But from 1943, in the euphoria of a new society promised in the post-war world
and the need for more housing once war ended, town planning assumed greater
importance to meet heightened public expectations. Finally the State
Government supported town planning and passed the Town and Country
Planning Act 1944, long desired by town planners. At last the interests of the
City Council, the State Government and citizensí groups converged. This paper
examines what was achieved in the assertive and growing regional city of
Launceston between 1930 and 1945.