University Of Tasmania
Petrow F1 Planning history paper.pdf (241.52 kB)

'A vital necessity'? Town planning in Launceston 1915-­1930

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 06:36 authored by Stefan PetrowStefan Petrow
By the early twentieth century Launceston had earned a reputation as one of the most progressive cities in Australia and leader in the provision of municipal services. But by 1914, despite its beautiful parks and natural surroundings, many citizens perceived that it lagged behind in town planning. Town planning was regarded as 'a vital necessity' as Launceston was becoming a growing industrial centre and port, the population was increasing and the city was expanding. The 1915-16 lectures by British town planning advocate Charles C. Reade stimulated much interest in town planning and for the next fifteen years town planning developments in Australia and abroad were widely discussed. Bodies such as the Northern Tasmanian Town Planning Association and the Launceston Fifty Thousand League, leading architects and the city newspapers urged the City Council to improve eyesores such as insanitary housing and swamps, to beautify existing parks and to plan for future growth. The provision of parks and reserves in the growing suburbs, the subdivision of suburban estates along town planning lines, wider streets and a Town Planning Act were also common demands. Private enterprise cashed in on the interest in town planning by advertising their estates as garden suburbs or providing housing for workers. This paper examines what was achieved in Launceston by 1930 after a major flood and the onset of economic depression distracted attention from town planning.


Publication title

Urban Transformations: booms, busts and other catastrophes


Andrea Gaynor, Elizabeth Gralton, Jenny Gregory & Sarah McQuade






School of Humanities


University of Western Aaustralia

Place of publication


Event title

Proceedings of the 11th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference

Event Venue

University of Western Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2012 the Author

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology

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