In 1970 the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) published Tomorrow’s Canberra, plan for the growth of the city into the twenty first century. It depicted the expansion of the National Capital in a series of satellite towns. Although this strategy plan for metropolitan growth (refer to Figure 1.1) showed development for 500,000 population within the confines of the ACT, it was derived from, and depended on, studies which presumed expansion beyond the ACT-NSW border. The extension of urban development north-west and north-east into NSW was an essential part of the plan. It had featured strongly in the plan derivation, was necessary for accommodating the growth of Canberra in excess of a population of 500,000, and was responsible for the term ‘Y-Plan’, the name by which this strategy is generally known. The focus of this planning report is the controversy which the Y-Plan for the growth of metropolitan Canberra engendered. The report documents and analyses an important period in Canberra’s planning history: the years 1950 to 1976 which saw the genesis of a plan for the continuous growth of Canberra, a plan which gave rise to controversy and encountered political obstacles to its implementation. The report traces the development of the pattern of urban growth and the choice of the Y-Plan strategy. It discusses the political implications of this choice. It delineates the types and dimensions of the difficulties which emerged in the path of the Y-Plan and analyses the policy-making process in a city-region context.
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