The redeveloped Adelaide Oval has brought a burst of vibrancy back to Adelaide city.
Image courtesy South Australian Tourism Commission.


as government and
council blend vibrancy with inherited greatness


WILLIAM LIGHT'S 1837 PLAN FOR THE ADELAIDE CITY LAYOUT AND PARKLANDS was placed on the National Heritage List in 2008. This confirmed the greatness of Light’s vision for Australia’s first planned city in the world's first public parklands. But Adelaide as a society has taken a long time to realise how to make the most of that inherited greatness.

The parklands were abused early on as quarries, rubbish dumps and fenced grazing paddocks. The Torrens river – not really a river, but originally a string of waterholes fed by creeks – was also neglected. Only when the Torrens was dammed into a lake in 1881 did Adelaide appreciate Light’s vision. The Torrens project also inspired a start on beautifying the parklands.

Light’s plan also isolated the city square and its suburb North Adelaide from the rest of the metropolitan area. This left the city council with a small population and limited resources for revenue.

Struggling at times to meet its obligations to ratepayers, the city council over the years has been pitted against the state government over which one of them is responsible for presenting the city square with amenities expected of a state capital. Light didn't anticipate a city council, let alone a long fractious rivalry between the council and the state government over who was in charge of shaping the city.

Light's wide main streets (King William is the widest of any Australian capital) did unwittingly allow for the motor car. But an unintended consequence was the damage to  elegant streetscapes and heritage treasures (e.g., the Royalty Theatre) demolished to build carparks.

Adelaide in the 21st Century is only starting to fulfil Light’s vision. The state government and city council started to work closely on a capital city program for more population and vibrancy. Light wanted a walking city with a green focus. It is regaining that part of the vision with renewed care for its built heritage.



streets for city square mile, North Adelaide and the parklands

First European settlers find Aboriginals in traditional parklands camps at Piltawodli

European settlers coming to site of their future capital city in the new British province of South Australia in 1836 found it already occupied by Aboriginals as it had been for thousands of years. This didn’t prevent British colonial authorities from surveying and granting lands to migrants with little knowledge of Aboriginal occupation. They believed that Aboriginals were not putting the land to good use.Until the early 1850s, Aboriginals continued to occupy the parklands, mainly near the present North Adelaide golf links, Memorial Drive and the Torrens Weir. This large area is called Piltawodli in the present City of Adelaide Kaurna park names. It comprises the slopes and flat area to the river's edge below Montefiore Hill, now the golf links, and east to Adelaide Oval and tennis courts and includes Pinky Flat. All this area was an Aboriginal camping ground at the time of European settlement when it was named after the abundance of pink-snouted bilbies. The colonial government made some effort to acknowledge the area where Aboriginal groups camped. In the survey for Adelaide’s site, a tiny area was marked out, with Aboriginal help, north of the Torrens opposite the gaol, to contain the Native (Aboriginal) Location, a “native school” and homes for the Protector of Aborigines and the schoolteacher, as well as several “little houses” for three Aboriginal families. After 1851, Aboriginals (Kaurna and Murray people) weren't encouraged to live on the parklands, though groups continued camping at Piltawodli, the west parklands and in Botanic Park through to the 1860s.


Major land dealer John Morphett opposed to Hindmarsh on the vote for Adelaide city site

Major land owner and dealer John Morphett’s votes were decisive in confirming the site of Adelaide chosen by William Light at the crucial meeting of settlers in February 1837. Supporting resident commissioner James Hurtle Fisher against South Australia’s first governor John Hindmarsh, Morphett joined the committee that started the Southern Australian newspaper in 1837.  At the age of 21, Morphett had worked at the counting house of Harris & Co., in Alexandria, Egypt, before returning to London in 1834. Through Dr Edward Wright, Morphett became interested in the South Australian Association push for a colony. When South Australian Act passed the British parliament, Morphett issued a pamphlet on Reasons for the Purchase of Land in South Australia, by Persons Resident in Britain; With a View to the Removal of Labourers, and the Profitable Employment of Capital. He advertised that he was migrating to the colony and would act for land buyers. By 1834, he was on the South Australian Literary Association committee and one of the province’s most energetic advocates. Sailing in the Cygnet, Morphett arrived in South Australia in September 1836. Two months later, with Lieutenant W.G. Field and George Kingston, he discovered the River Torrens valley –  vital to William Light’s choice of the city site. Morphett backed many causes. In 1840, he became treasurer of Adelaide's Municipal Corporation, helped found the Agricultural Society in 1844, supported the Collegiate School of St Peter and was attorney for the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts.

City street names another cause of the many quarrels in colonial Adelaide

Naming streets on Colonel William Light’s 1837 plan became comically acrimonious. Governor Captain John Hindmarsh and resident commissioner James Hurtle Fisher claimed the right to name streets. Emigration agent John Brown proposed a naming committee: Hindmarsh, Fisher, Brown, Light, Osmond Gilles (colonial treasurer), John Morphett, Edward Stephens, John Jeffcott (judge), Robert Gouger (colonial secretary), Thomas Gilbert (colonial storekeeper), John Barton Hack and Thomas Bewes Strangways. Brown, in his report on the 1837 meeting to select street names, says naval captain Hindmarsh didn't attend but Jeffcott brought “a pocket full of royal and naval heroes” on Hindmarsh's behalf. King William Street and Victoria Square were agreed unanimously but the governor’s suggestions, British admirals Duncan and Howe, were rejected in favour of Grote and Wakefield. Most names chosen came from the colony’s commissioners and South Australian Company. Hindmarsh intervened later to get his way. Strangways Terrace was named after the governor's prospective son-in-law and Pulteney Street after Admiral Pulteney Malcolm, who'd recommended Hindmarsh be governor (over William Light). More controversially, Archer Street was to have been named after Henry Willoughby, a British MP who supported the South Australia Act. It was changed to Archer, after a landowner who’d given Hindmarsh sheep. O'Connell Street and Kermode Street were named after Jeffcott's friends Daniel O’Connell, who defended him over his duel, and Robert Kermode, his fiancée's brother.


From west parklands, colonial settlers go from reed huts to mud/timber to bluestone buildings

First European colonists on the HMS Buffalo, who eventually came to live in the vicinity of the future Adelaide square mile, settled in what became the west parklands under William Light's plan. At first, they lived in tents or houses of reeds (from the wetlands at Lockleys) and later in prefabricated wooden huts from Britain in an “Immigrants Square” near the present intersection of Currie Street and West Terrace. Limestone and clay for bricks from the Torrens banks soon replaced mud and timber for bigger buildings. Surviving brick buildings from the late 1830s and early1840s include the Ebenezer Chapel in Brougham Court, the Sheridan Theatre in MacKinnon Parade and Buffalo Cottage in Finniss Street. The Adelaide Gaol (1841) is also an important example. Nearby was the Colonial (or Iron) Store at the foot of Montefiore Hill nearly 400 metres to the northwest of the Native Location. Only about 120 metres to the southeast was the military camp of the sappers (royal engineers) quarters, between Memorial Drive and the Torrens Weir. (Sappers built and repaired fortifications.) After 1851, when barracks for the mounted police and for military purposes were built off North Terrace and east of Government House, the colonial store and sappers quarters moved to these barracks. The protector of Aboriginals and the Native School also moved to this location. Under the 1858 Building Act, Adelaide City Council banned timber construction. Bluestone quarried from Glen Osmond became a popular building material. It became a distinctive feature of the Adelaide built environment.

William Light's siting of river between city and North Adelaide sets up an ongoing quandary

Surveyor general William Light’s plan for Adelaide had a long-lasting effect on its identity as a capital city when he gave it a suburb called North Adelaide. Light’s decision to create a south (city square mile) and north Adelaide – both enclosed by parklands – followed from him placing his plan within the Torrens creeks valley. The valley provided a key requirement, aside from fresh water, for the site: stones for constructing the city. Light’s plan divided the city square mile into 700 well-ordered town acres but he had to resort to town acres at odd angles to fit North Adelaide around the river valley. The River Torrens (not really a river but a series of water holes), was easy to cross in dry weather but changed dramatically during a flood. Crossing the river before 1856, when the first flood proof bridge was built in the King William Street extension, was dangerous. The lack of access to the south encouraged a closer relationship between North Adelaide and Walkerville residents who, in 1855, discussed separating from south Adelaide. Adelaide’s local government autonomy, insulated from the rest of the metropolitan area, has long been debated. But the role of the city council in charge of the state capital’s symbolic centre has been complicated by the role of – and often control of the council by –residents of the North Adelaide suburbs. The state government and city council have come closest in the 21st Century to easing long-standing acrimony and resolving the council’s dual role of local government for the state capital and for city/North Adelaide residents. 

North Adelaide's early divide into wealthy upper/lower Irishtown for the working class

North Adelaide was laid out by William Light in 1837 as a satellite of the Adelaide city square mile with 341 acre blocks surrounded by parklands. It soon became a dormitory suburb for the social elite wealthy business and professional men who built large mansions, mostly in upper North Adelaide. Lower North Adelaide, 96 acres including Melbourne Street, Stanley Street and MacKinnon Parade, sometimes called Irishtown, tended to be inhabited by labouring classes, artisans and tradesmen in small cottages. Light also squeezed in more town acres along the North Adelaide ridge top fronting Montefiore Hill, the eastern end of Strangways Terrace and Barnard Street, and more town acres to the west of Hill Street. Brougham Place, North Adelaide, overlooking the city, gained a row of mansions in the early 20th Century for wealthy identities such as brewer William Henry Beaglehole, wine and spirit merchant George Milne, Goolgardie Gold mining investor Edwin Dalton, hotelier Arthur Waterhouse and merchant Charles Henry Goode. The homes of wealthier German settlers add to the large stock of the North Adelaide heritage buildings that extends to hotels and churches such as Brougham Place Uniting. An alluvial clay bed south of Melbourne Street and east of Jerningham Street provided bricks for several homes such as the former Keith Sheridan Theatre in Mackinnon Parade, the former Ebenezer Chapel off Brougham Court and Buffalo Cottage in Finniss Street. Development of North Adelaide was held up until 1856 when the first flood-proof link across the River Torrens to the city centre was built.


as west end slum's health problems grow with industrial smog

Adelaide city council, started in 1840, marks origins of Australia's local government

South Australian governor Henry Young appointed Australia’s first city corporation in 1840 when Adelaide’s population had exceeded 2,000 and qualified as a municipality under the British system. The Adelaide council’s 19 members chose four to be aldermen and a mayor (James Hurtle Fisher). The colonial government handed over the running of a two-storey stone slaughterhouse in the west parklands to the new city corporation. But, otherwise, the council struggled for revenue.

Revived city council from 1852 allows animal grazing on parklands to raise revenue

The Adelaide City Corporation was revived in 1852, after being defunct from 1843, when the colony’s economy has improved. It was better able to manage rates, roads (the “real work of macadamising the streets in a systematic manner” began in 1856) and rubbish. It continued using the parklands to raise revenue through licence fees for grazing animals. By the 1880s, there were almost 80 miles of fencing for about 30 areas of the parklands used for grazing animals.


Dark tiny cottages an early characteristic of Adelaide city's crowded and poor west end

Adelaide city’s west end developed its identity from South Australia’s earliest colonial days, not just for geographic space but also for its character and reputation. Broadly the city square mile area west of King William Street, the west end became an outgrowth of “Emigration Square”, the camp in the northwest parklands where the less-well-off newcomers to the colony settled at first. The price of town acres of the city square mile from 1837 rose sharply from £3 to £20 for much smaller allotments by 1839. Speculators, such as William Henry Gray and Captain Whiteman Freeman of the immigrant ship Tam O'Shanter, recognised the urgent needs in Emigration Square and subdivided their western city town acres into small affordable lots to rent or buy. Freeman divided one of his acres into 28 allotments. Small poorly-built rows of dark cottages on these allotments became characteristic of the west end. The west end’s city council Grey Ward remained the most densely populated area of the city (at 47 people per acre) in 1880-81. Its substandard housing was still an issue in the 1930s, although, by that stage, the 20th Century exodus of people to the suburbs had developed. Conditions had been no better in the area’s sweatshop factories. With cheaper rents, Hindley Street became Adelaide city’s first commercial centre. With Light Square, the street’s western end was soon renowned for prostitution. The west end’s many hotels – it had 49 in 1918 – were the hubs for illegal activity such as gambling and sly grog (especially after the stricter licensing laws of 1916). 

After deep drainage starts in 1860s, Adelaide Council turns to health problem in poor areas

In the early 1860s, a basic deep drainage system was installed along King William, Rundle and Hindley streets and parts of North and East terraces. It took another 16 years before the entire city was connected to deep drainage. City engineer Charles Smith’s survey determined where drainage pipes would be laid and connected. Along with deep drainage, public health measures underpinned general improvements in living conditions, particularly for the city's poorer residents.


City hums with industry in 19th Century but pollution and smells a constant complaint

Breweries and flours mills, such as Phillips and Horne’s (1842) on West Terrace, were the first of many small industries in the Adelaide city centre in the 19th Century and through to the early 20th.  Two of the most successful, W. H. Burford and Sons and A. Simpson & Son, were also two of the most polluting with dirt or smells. The Burford factory, started in 1840 as one of Australia’s earlier makers of soap (also candles), on the corner of East Terrace and Grenfell Street, provoked continued protests over its smells. These continued when it moved to a bigger Sturt Street factory in the 1880s and took over the plant of competitor Tidmarsh & Co. Alfred Muller Simpson turned his father’s business in Freeman Street (now part of Gawler Place) into a major manufacturer, with fire- and thief-resistant safes an early speciality. His workers were known as “Simpson’s Black Angels” because of the factory conditions.

Bert Edwards enigma: flamboyant, notorious champion of Adelaide's 20th Century west end

Bert Edwards was the most flamboyant, notorious, and enigmatic figure in Adelaide city’s west end in the 20th Century. Born illegitimate (with premier Charles Cameron Kingston rumoured to be his father) in 1888, Edward was raised in the west end and attended St Joseph's Catholic school in Russell Street. Living with his mother, off Sturt Street, he experienced the hardships of west enders. For two long terms, 1914-31 and 1948-63, he represented the west end’s Grey Ward on the city council. In 1917, he was elected a Labor member in the House of Assembly for the seat of Adelaide and retained the seat until 1931. After running a tea shop in Compton Street, his gained hotel licences for the Duke of Brunswick in Gilbert Street (1916-24), Newmarket Hotel (1924-31) and the Castle Inn in Hindley Street (1933-37). Edward became involved with the Duke of Brunswick’s football club, the Brunswicks, one of 11 in the west end. He also became chairman of West Adelaide Football Club (1921-22) and its president in 1926. Edwards’ notoriety came, most prominently, in 1931 when he was been convicted of “an unnatural offence” and sentenced to five years jail. Edwards had been reported to police in 1918 for running an unregistered club in a Logan Street house but police couldn’t find any to testify because “Edwards is very popular with all classes”.  Edwards' generosity was spread around the west end. In 1961, he endowed a men's refuge in Whitmore Square, and, in 1963, he bought the property next door as a rehabilitation centre for prisoners. 


with beautified parklands give Adelaide identity from the 1870s

Botanic Garden the first step in changing the aura of Adelaide from a scrubby country town

Until the 1870s, Adelaide was like a country town with lots of open scrubby space, unmade roads and grazing animals on empty town acres and surrounding parklands. Under mayor Edwin Smith, the city infrastructure improved with better road making, more street lighting and trams. This generated interest in public spaces such as the botanic garden. Officially opened in 1857, the garden's design was influenced by the royal gardens at Kew, England, and Versailles, France.


1870s/80s city starting to be transformed under Edwin Smith's three terms as the mayor

Edwin Smith’s terms as mayor of Adelaide (1879-82, 1886-87 and 1887-88) have been credited with transforming the city. Among changes to the city under Smith were the forming of Torrens Lake, the first tramways, King William Street extended, more gas lights and pavements, squares and parklands changed from wildernesses into smart oases. Before Adelaide, Smith was mayor of Kensington and Norwood. He was also an MP, brewery businessman and philanthropist. 

Adelaide takes on an air of middle class civic pride with its array of Italianate buildings

Adelaide buildings in North Terrace and King William Street took on their colonial Italianate – middle class rather than aristocratic – character in the 1870s-80s. The consciousness of a civi heritage from British/European models was strong. Adelaide's emerging elite was aware of the need to acquire the buildings and institutes they saw as integral to municipal life. But admiring visitors didn’t know how appalling conditions were for the poorer citizens, especially in the city's west end.


Torrens lake fixes problem of Adelaide's nonriver; inspires beautified parklands

Besides inspiring the beautifying of the surrounding parklands, forming the Torrens Lake with a wier in 1881 solved a basic dilemma about the River Torrens. It isn’t a river. It’s really a chain of shallow summer water holes found by the first European settlers.During early years of settlement, the river acted as both the city's primary water source and main sewer, leading to outbreaks of typhus and cholera. It is also known by its native Kaurna name Karra wirra-parri.


August Pelzer gets rid of Adelaide parklands fencing; creates formal European gardens

August Pelzer, city gardener from 1899, dramatically tamed many parts of the parklands with more than a dozen formal parks such as Cresswell, Pennington, Lundie and Osmond Gardens as well as getting rid of miles of fencing. The increased use of exotic species in grand open spaces, with pathways and rustic trimmings, added to picturesque European vistas in an alien landscape. The gardens, including the North Terrace boulevard, boosted Adelaide's reputation for civic pride.

Engineer/town clerk William Veale leaves imprint on Adelaide city parks, infrastructure

William Veale made a major impression on Adelaide city, especially its parklands, as city engineer and town clerk from the 1920s to 1960s. He supervised construction of Adelaide Bridge, completed in 1931, and landscaping along the River Torrens. After World War II service, Veale was appointed Adelaide town clerk in 1947 and oversaw most postwar development. Underground drainage was upgraded to overcome flooding and streets widened to traffic. Car parking was eased by on-street meters and more off-street spaces. In 1957, Veale as town clerk was sent by the city council to gather ideas from 40 cities in Europe and North America. He transformed the parklands after years of neglect with extensive landscaping, gardens, boating lakes and picnic grounds. Veale was deputy chairman (1956-67) of the state planning committee that produced the metropolitan Adelaide development plan. He was on the committee (from 1958) that planned the Adelaide Festival of Arts. A meticulous administrator, he frequently drove around the city to see for himself what was going on. His authoritarian style made him difficult and relations with lord mayors and councillors weren't always harmonious.


and went on to lead its regeneration as developers from the 1980s

City Market in Grote St from 1869 takes the overflow from Richard Vaughan's East Enders

Adelaide City Council's first attempt to run a market was in 1855, with 26 stalls on the corporation’s acre in King William Street. This failed, opening the way for Richard Vaughan to set up a market that became the fruit and produce exchange on East Terrace. From 1861, Vaughan's venture thrived (and continued until 1988) and was soon overflowing. This overflow meant the need for the City Market, opened in 1869 on three town acres in Grote Street bought in 1867 by the city council. The market operated for six months before any sheds were built. The Grote Street brick façade (1900) and seven two-storey shops in Gouger Street (1906) were the council’s first big investments. A major addition was an arcade of shops in 1915 between Grote and Gouger streets, extending from the eastern market roadway to Moore’s department store fronting Victoria Square. When the fish market lease expired in 1922, it was replaced by an extra north-south arcade. But, from the 1930s Depression, no major works were done until a 1960s $400,000 revamp saw the eastern Grote Street façade demolished. During the 1960s redevelopment, the city council changed the name City Market to the Central Market.


Pollution rife and tons of rubbish dumped in parklands before city council buys furnace

The cloud hanging over all the improvements to Adelaide city in the 1880s was the pollution from its industries. Twenty-five years later, the Adelaide City Council 1908 annual report noted that “the ideal city …will be a city free from dust.”  With the pollution problem, the corporation had sought new ways, under the Health Act, to create a clean and rubbish-free city. The corporation had powers to take over private city streets in poor condition or filled with rubbish. After deep drainage was installed in the 1880s, the corporation’s was confronted next with disposing of the city rubbish. By 1910, 30 tons of rubbish per day was being dumped into 18 locations around the parklands plus many smaller ones. This included Torrens parade ground, used as a city dump between 1855 and the early 1890s. In the 1900s, when the city corporation declared that the traditional way of rubbish dumping unsanitary, it invested in 20th Century technology from Manchester to build a rubbish incinerator. The Halifax-Gilles streets site was found to be the “only one in the city suitable and available for the purpose”. The corporation had intended to locate the rubbish incinerator alongside the city abattoirs (near where Bonython Park now is) but Adelaide citizens had become so politically active over protecting the parklands that the corporation changed to Halifax-Gilles. The city corporation was proud of its incinerator as the most “perfect destructor in Australasia”. Nearby residents were less impressed. The destructor was a profitable and effective way of getting rid of rubbish but its operations were a new source of city pollution.

Council's incinerator a money spinner but its pollution forces switch to Wingfield dump

The Adelaide city refuse destructor, installed in Halifax Street in 1910, brought in revenue when it also began cremating rubbish for 11 metropolitan councils. The city destructor became a tourist drawcard but city residents, who endured its polluting smoke and ash, weren’t so fascinated. Those residents had to wait until 1950s, for the move to Wingfield rubbish dump, leased from the federal government and bought in 1986 when it received 70% of metropolitan Adelaide waste.


Population plummets in city in 1950s/60s as migrants move in and home in on the market

From 43,000 in 1915, Adelaide city centre’s population was down to 35,000 in 1951 and kept dropping during the 1950s/60s to be 14,000 in 1972. The physical state of the city was frozen and starting to decay in the 1950s, after hits from the late 1920s and early 1930s Depression followed by World War II building restrictions. The rundown state of the city centre left a lot of heritage value being overlooked in the 1960s rush in to modernise buildings and widen roads for the rise in car ownership. New Housing Trust and war service housing and bigger homes added to the lure of the expanding suburbs for city residents. City shops were also being abandoned. The threat of suburban shopping centres in the 1960s was also hitting city retail. European migrants – mostly Greek and Italian – moved in to buy the empty city cottages and shops they saw as good value. Hindley Street was the meeting place for Adelaide Greek community in the 1950s. The only Greek church was in Franklin Street, Adelaide, and nearby Church of St Patrick was a focal point for Italians living in the city. Central Market became the shopping place for these migrants while suburban shoppers favoured Rundle Street and other traditional stores.

Lucia's among migrants wave that joins the Central Market stall legends from late 1950s

Lucia Bugeja introduced Adelaide to pizza in 1957. Lucia’s Pizza and Spaghetti Bar continues into the 21st Century – one example of the tradition added by migrants, mostly Italian and Greek, who took over businesses – often giving up labouring jobs – in the Central Market from the late 1950s/60s. Future lord mayor Steve Condous, then 21, and brother Stanley in 1956 bought German cake shop from Gehlerts in the market’s City Arcade (demolished to make way for the Market Arcade in the 1960s). Con’s Fine Foods was opened by Con Savvas in 1959. These and other migrant newcomers joined market stalwarts like Blackeby’s Old Lolly Shop from 1906, McMahons fruiterers (1920s) and Charlesworths Nuts (1924). Migrants from Asia, and particularly Southeast Asia, in 1970s and 1980s added to the Central Market precinct with Chinatown and Market Plaza, west of California Street to Moonta Street. The Central Market now has 250 traders under one roof as a distinctively Adelaide institution with a bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere. Lucia's daughters Nicci and Maria have seen the market's influence on changing Anglo tastes from the early days when very few drank coffee; instead, Bonox and Cottee’s cordial were on offer.

Ubiquitous signs in CBD the legacy of Con Polites' prolific buyup of cheap buildings from 1960s

The many blue and white “Polites” signs on buildings in the Adelaide CBD are the legacy of property tycoon Constantine George Polites. Born in 1919 at Port Pirie to Greek farming parents, Polities grew up in poverty. He left school at 16 and set up a deli-snack bar at the age of 16. He moved to Adelaide at 19 and worked as a general hand at Woolworths in Rundle Street before starting several businesses of his own. Polites made his first real estate purchases, including a building in Grenfell Street across from Harris Scarfe’s, in 1959 and into the 1960s, continually buying cheap city buildings. Polites put a blue-and-white sign with his name on each building. Hindley Street has the most signs from the buyup that continued in the 1970s and 1980s. Polites rarely sold his properties but rented out his huge stock of mainly tired and neglected buildings. He was also a noticeable figure around town, driving a 1977 Cadillac, often smoking a cigar. Polites died in 2001. His son George and now grandsons carry on the Princes Polites Group real estate business.

Steve Condous, from a Greek migrant west end background, breaks lord mayor mould, 1987-93

Steve Condous, Australia’s first mayor of Greek descent as Adelaide lord mayor (1987-93), was a migrant product of the city’s west end, attending Sturt Street Primary School and having parents who ran a Gouger Street continental deli near the Central Market. As lord mayor, Condous broke the mould of lord mayors, dominated by those from city board rooms and the professions. He served on Adelaide City Council for 25 years from 1968, playing a role in West End and Halifax Street residential projects, upgrades to Hutt Street, North Adelaide Aquatic Centre and greening of Adelaide streets. Condous went from lord mayor to first Greek-background state member of parliament for the Liberal party. Coundous actively supported many community groups and his wife Angela Condous, as lady mayoress and beyond, became a prolific worker for charity and philanthropy. Condous was born in 1935 on the Greek island of Kastellorizo, migrating with his family Adelaide and the working-class ghetto of the city centre’s west end in the 1940s. Condous faced racist abuse  – physical and verbal – at Sturt Street Primary and , “at seven years of age, I saw my father being spat at in the streets and being called a dago.”  

Jack Weinert wins a 50-years lease in 1967 to develop Central Market Arcade plus Coles store

Adelaide Central Market Arcade, between Victoria Square and the Central Market, returned to Adelaide City Council control in 2017 – the end of the 50-years lease granted to Jack Weinert in 1967. Weinert was another of the Adelaide’s self-made multi-million migrant-background developers, starting as a young orphan in Unley. The G.J. Coles store was a key part of Weinert’s development of the eastern two acres of the Central Market that had an arcade of shops and the Langham Hotel. Weinert, who built his first supermarket in 1956, went into a partnership with Coles in 1964 to build and develop Adelaide suburban shopping centres. The Weinert Group of Companies he founded is still active in Adelaide city with a $40 million revival of Rundle Mall Plaza around the opening of a store for Swedish retail giant H&M in 2018. The end of the Central Market Arcade lease in 2017 opened the way for Adelaide city council to seek developers for a possible high-rise project on the site.

Gerry Karidis – from Port wharfie to one of Adelaide's biggest and boldest developers

Gerry Karidis arrived in Adelaide as an 18-year-old migrant from the Greek island of Lefkada in 1956 and worked as a Port Adelaide wharfie, before, with extra labouring and concreting with brother Don, soon raised enough money to build their first house at Ottoway using mainly recycled materials and picking up skills from tradies. Karidis became a medium-sized developer specialising in Adelaide’s western suburbs. His first big commercial project came in 1961 at Mile End, helped by an investment from Ken Saunders. This was the start of a multi-million corporation that pushed new benchmarks as a developer in South Australia and Victoria. In the 1980s, Karidis became an early and energetic proponent for repopulating the city of Adelaide into a vibrant, affordable and more liveable space. For three decades, he campaigned relentlessly for urban consolidation in Adelaide. This won him friends and enemies. In 2013, Karidis, with another Greek-heritage developer Theo Maras, was honoured as an inaugural property icon by the Property Council of Australia for reinvigorating many quadrants of the city and metropolitan areas, and an outstanding contribution to the industry and community.

Theo Maras drives the commercial side of major regeneration of East End from 1990s

Theo Maras, from a Greek migrant background, had a major effect on reviving the East End after the shutdown of the fruit and produce exchange in that part of the city in 1988. An architectural draughtsman, Maras in 1980 joined a partnership called Mancorp converting older CBD offices, factories and warehouses. Mancorp’s Rundle East Company (now a division of the Maras Group, formed in 2006) was the only Australian firm in the top five to win the state government tender for the commercial side of the Garden East development, with the Liberman Group doing the residential. This was the City of Adelaide’s most significant project after the 1980s/early 1990s recession had halted development. Garden East started in 1993 as the most important inner-city regeneration in decades. The Maras Rundle East Company took control of the commercial buildings along Rundle Street, from East Terrace (on the east side) to Union Street (on the west). The East End now blends cafes, restaurants, fashion stores, speciality retail, cinemas, pubs, wine bars, and a mix of professional and creative services. Theo Maras has contributed widely to South Australia as member of many boards.

Max Liberman inspired at 72 to create Adelaide CBD's first high-rise homes at Garden East

Max Liberman, regarded as the father of modern housing development in South Australia, including creating Garden East, Adelaide’s first CBD high-rise housing, in the East End. In 1993, aged 72, Liberman came out of retirement in Sydney and returned to Adelaide to tackle revitalising the “bomb site”: the relics of the East End fruit and produce exchange that closed in 1988. Liberman Group developed nine award-winning residential buildings known as Garden East into part of a $100 million residential and commercial hive. Despite the controversies that Garden East's modestly multi-storey buildings generated, Liberman believed high-rise accommodation was needed to make Adelaide competitive. Born in Egypt to Austrian parents, Liberman migrated to Adelaide in the late 1940s and became involved in some of Adelaide metropolitan area's biggest housing projects, most notably West Lakes. In 1992, West Lakes won the inaugural FIABCI international Real Estate Federation’s Prix D’Excellence in Switzerland as the world’s best housing development. Liberman was most proud of West Lakes and Garden East.

Nine UPark carparks and on-street spaces bring in millions of dollars for city council

Adelaide City Council owns and operates about 6,300 off-street car parking spaces in nine places across the city through its UPark brand. It also manages 18,400 on-street parking spaces. In 2014, the council’s revenue from parking fines was found to have jumped $4.5 million — or 50%— to $13.4m in the previous four years. The council is developing an internet app to helping motorists find available on-street parks  and to remind them when the space time limit is due to expire.


in 1960s before heritage listings start with City Development Plan

Roads widening and idea of progress hit city heritage buildings hard from the 1960s

The Depression and a World War II restrictions on materials meant Adelaide city buildings became dilapidated by the 1950s. Aside for the razing of many older buildings for road widening, a mentality developed that anything new represented progress. City councilor John Bonython in 1963 lamented the “city's history in stone vanishing”. He warned that tourism would fall every time the city did away with distinctively Adelaide 19th Century buildings.

Theatre Royal, South Australian Hotel and Exhibition Building lost in the 1960s plunder

During the 1960s, Adelaide city lost many of its finest, and some of its most significant, buildings, including the 1882 ES&A Bank building in King William Street; the 1867 Theatre Royal in Hindley Street; the South Australian Hotel on North Terrace, the education building in Flinders Street and the 1886-7 Exhibition Building on North Terrace. The Theatre Royal was razed, despite an appeal by visiting poet and connoisseur of architecture John Betjemann: “I bitterly regretted any plan which might lead to the loss of the Theatre Royal – quite one of the prettiest theatres I've seen”. It is now the site of a multi-storey carpark. But 1966-67, lord mayor and businessman Walter “Wally” Bridgland said it was “vital for the development of Adelaide that the old move aside for the new and that the new is a result of well considered and balanced planning”. This view was moderated by next lord mayor Robert Porter who stressed the need for a planning framework.

Move to pull down bank building (now Edmund Wright House) sparks a heritage turning point

Pivotal in the heritage debate was the state government’s intervention in 1971 after a popular protest to retain the former premises of the Bank of South Australia (now Edmund Wright House). This was followed by the Urban Systems Corporation report in 1974 leading to The City of Adelaide Plan with a register of places of significance. The city plan was adopted in 1976 and the state government’s Heritage Act passed in 1978. The council considered a heritage study a year later.

Aurora Hotel on square demolished in 1983 after fierce fight that fired up city heritage vigilance

The loss of the Aurora Hotel, on the north east corner of Pirie Street and Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, in 1983 was a watershed in Adelaide city heritage conservation. In the early 1980s, Adelaide City Council promoted plans to redevelop town acres east of Hindmarsh Square. A.W. Baulderstone gained approval to demolish the Aurora Hotel. Because of the building’s history and architecture, the threat of the Aurora being razed set off South Australia’s most strenuous campaign to save a historic building, involving union bans, court injunctions and a month-long picket by an action committee.The fact that the hotel was not on the five-year-old State Heritage Register disillusioned many people. The incident led to closer public scrutiny of the Adelaide City Plan and the council’s links with property developers.

Heritage listing starts with City Plan in 1987: 247 state and 1,850 local sites now protected

Heritage listings, started in 1987, in Adelaide city and North Adelaide had 247 state and 1850 local buildings protected in 2016. South Australia’s old and new parliament houses plus the city parklands are on the national heritage list. The General Post Office in King William Street and the North Adelaide Post Office in Tynte Street are on the commonwealth heritage list. “Elder Mews”, Yarrabee House, Rymill House and the Public Schools Club Building are among state listings.


Preservation group set since 1987 on protecting unique parklands from constant whittling away

The Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association was founded in 1987 as a non-profit community watchdog to guard Adelaide’s greatest treasure: William Light’s unique vision of a city surrounded by the world’s first public  parklands, including the city squares. The association sees protecting the parklands as a never-ending battle, despite the Adelaide Park Lands Act 2005 and what it regards as its proudest achievement: the national heritage listing for the parklands in 2008. The association can point to a history, virtually from the start, of Light’s open-space vision being whittled away by decisions of the government and city council. The original 930 hectares of planned parklands are now down to about 700 hectares.



by council and state government for more population/vibrancy

City council and state government lock in joint vision through Capital City Committee

The special combined focus on the Adelaide city square mile by the state government and city council is expressed through the Capital City Committee. Set up in 1998, the committee recognises the City of Adelaide's special role in social, commercial, cultural and civic life. Among its vision priorities have been activated side streets and laneways, responsive planning; early evening experience and late-night economy; environmental sustainability and a connected smart city.


Laneways and small streets from Riverbank to railway station focus of city vibrancy plan

A $14.6 million upgrade of the small streets and laneways linking the Adelaide Central Market to Adelaide Railway Station and Riverbank started in 2016, jointly funded by the state government and city council. It included new intersections, paving, lighting, trees, landscaping, street furniture, and public art through the corridor, which is used by about 15,000 people a day. The corridor includes Bank Street, Leigh Street, Topham Mall, Bentham Street and Pitt Street. Since Clever Little Tailor, the first small bar in Peel Street,, opened in 2013, it has seen a major increase in visitors. This led to the street being closed to traffic.

Small bars, 3am closing, outdoor dining and food trucks part of altering the feel of the city

Small bars, 3am closing for licensed drink venues, outdoor footpath dining and food trucks are among changes that have altered the feel of the city. The small bars were enabled by a new class of  liquor licence in 2013 when a late-night code was brought in for licensed drink venues for a 3am lockout, along with other measures to curb drunken violence. The city council set guidelines for outdoor footpath dining areas in 2014. The revival in food trucks has been less succesful.

Big projects part of strategy to arrest city population loss from 43,000 in 1915

Billions of dollars pumped into the city by the state government through projects such as the enlarged Adelaide Oval, Riverbank, Festival Centre and plaza upgrade are part of the strategy to arrest the drop in the CBD’s population. A flurry of apartments projects has responded to the changing feel of the city. The City of Adelaide in 2016 still only had a population of just over 23,000 –  about 50% of what it had in 1915 when it reached more than 43,000.


REVIVED BIG SPACES – RUNDLE MALL AND VICTORIA SQUARE –with the LeCornu site bought by city council to end 30-years farce

Rundle Mall, the first pedestrian shopping strip in Australia, gets a $30 million makeover

Australia’s first pedestrian shopping strip, Rundle Mall, marked its 50th year in 2016 with a $30 million modernising. Rundle Mall, originally designed by architect Ian Hannaford, opened in 1976 with controversy over closing Rundle Street between King William and Pulteney streets. The mall has 15 arcades and centres, including the Italianate Adelaide Arcade (also the first retail area in Australia with electric lighting), Regent Arcade, Gays Arcade, City Cross and Southern Cross. 

Victoria Square finally gets northern end upgrade but southern side yet to be decided

After years of debate, Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga had the first $30 million stage – the northern half – of an upgrade finished in 2014. It included a large event space for up to 5000 people and a promenade with an “urban lounge”.The heritage-listed Three Rivers Fountain was moved to the southern end. The central roadway linking Grote and Wakefield street was renamed Reconciliation Plaza.  Victoria Square is the annual home for cycling teams in the Tour Down Under.

Council purchase of LeCornu vacant site ending 30-year saga of failed developments

A 30-year saga over the former LeCornu store site in O’Connell Street, North Adelaide, took a hopeful twist with Adelaide City Council buying the vacant land in 2017 from the Makris Group. In 1989, the 1.6ha Le Cornu Furniture store, in the retail family for 134 years, sold to merchant bank Tricontinental (Trikon) and Oberdan family’s Kellyvale Group. Plans for a $40 million shopping centre and townhouses failed, along with a string of other hotel and residential proposals. 

Award-winning oval and footbridge projects the first elements in plan for Riverbank revival

Two major opening aspects of the Adelaide Riverbank masterplan were both award winners completed in 2014: the $535 million redevelopment of historic Adelaide Oval and the $40 million footbridge over the River Torrens linking the oval and the southern bank. The iconic oval was transformed into a state-of-the-art stadium venue with 53,500 capacity without losing its heritage aspects such as the cathedral view, 1890s Moreton Bay fig trees and F. Kenneth Milne’s Edwardian-style wooden scoreboard from 1911. The elegantly curved eight-metres wide footbridge, spanning nearly 75 metres, ends with a dramatic Belvedere hovering above the river where a water wall aerates the Torrens lake. Its prized concept was by engineers and urban designers Aurecon and landscape architects Taylor Cullity Lethlean TZG.

Adelaide Festival Centre theatres change to riverside entrances in $90 million upgrade

Adelaide's Festival Centre has taken a turn to the north, with its main entrance now facing onto the River Torrens and Elder Park under a $90 million upgrade of the centre in 2017-18 – the most significant works since the centre’s opening in 1973. New entries to the main theatre and Dunstan Playhouse were created plus major technical and equipment upgrades. Repairs to the Dunstan Playhouse shell fixed the exterior of the building and resolved long-standing issues with degraded concrete and water seeping.Disability access to all three theatres was increased, the Elder Park kiosk upgraded, an interactive children's play arts playground added and the Festival Theatre foyers renewed. Festival Drive has been lowered to lead into the centre's car parking, with improved pedestrian access between Adelaide Railway Station and the Torrens footbridge which gives crowds access to Adelaide Oval. A Hollywood-style walk of fame has curated video art on the large screens featuring many stars who have performed at the centre over the past 40 years. The upgrades include widening the east-west promenade and giving easier access to performances at the Dunstan Playhouse and Space Theatre.

Festival Square revamp with offices tower, casino hotel, 5-level carpark set for 2022

Adelaide Festival Square (formerly Plaza) project, expected to be ready by 2022, will develop 16,500 square metres of public space next to the Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Railway Station, Adelaide Casino, Parliament House and Old Parliament House and Station Road. This upgrade will happen with construction of a 23-storey $500 million Walker Group Holdings office tower with shops and a 1600-space five-level underground carpark (with electric car chargers). In 2015, state government agency Renewal SA leveraged other Adelaide Riverbank project with Walker Group Holdings’ office block proposal. The state government committed $180 million towards the Festival Plaza, supported by a $430 million from Walker. The plaza upgrade will feature a two-storey building with rooftop access include restaurants, bars, cafes and shops on the northern side of Parliament House, next to the 23-storey office tower with traffic boulevard along Station Road. The 108-metre-tall tower will be the second tallest in Adelaide, behind the Westpac building designed by Rod Roach Architecture with Woods Bagot, and completed in 1988. Otto Hajek’s concrete garden sculpture on the former plaza will be replaced with a new art space with water features and plants. Access to the theatres will be enhanced and a pedestrian overpass will provide direct access from the Riverbank footbridge to a new Adelaide Railway Station entry.

11-storey $330m casino expansion overcomes concern about effect on railway station heritage

A $330 million 11-storey expansion of Adelaide Casino from its original core in the Adelaide Railway Station is under way and due to be ready in 2020, in spite of heritage concerns. The expansion, with more VIP gaming spaces, a rooftop bar, restaurants and a 123-room boutique luxury hotel, is on government-owned land next to the Adelaide Festival Plaza development. The design of the expansion had the in-principle support of South Australia’s government architect but the State Heritage Unit had concerns about its bulk and height’s impact on the heritage settings of Adelaide Festival Centre and Adelaide Railway Station. The new building abutting the northern façade of the Adelaide Railway Station was at odds with the conservation master plan. Casino operator New-Zealand-owned SkyCity says it will remodel the casino area in the historic railway station to match standards of the new development while protecting the station’s special character.

Convention centre's two new wings fly advanced technology in design and colours along the river

The Riverbank aesthetic has been boosted by the $400 million east and west wing buildings for the Adelaide Convention Centre use geometric technology only available in the 21st Century. Hundreds of architects from Adelaide’s global firm Woods Bagot and American architect Larry Oltmanns exploited the geometric advances for the west wing. Its facade was inspired by colours and contours of South Australia's Flinders Ranges. The western extension, opened in 2015, faced the challenge of spanning the Adelaide railyard, equivalent in length to a 20-lane highway bridge structure. The Panorama Ballroom holds 600 dinner guests or seats 1,000 conference delegates, with a river view. The east building, opened in 2017, can be subdivided and configured within minutes as pre-function space, ballroom, exhibition or plenary with capacity of up to 3,500 seats.

Biomedical and health precinct dominates the western end of the Riverbank's skyline

The health and biomedical precinct presents an imposing 21st Century backdrop to the Riverbank's western end. Between the suburban rail lines and North Terrace, the precinct comprises the new 800-bed Royal Adelaide Hospital, the SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) building, Adelaide University’s Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building and the University of South Australia’s health innovation building. A SAHMRI2 building –  the John Chalmers Centre for Transforming Health – is also proposed for the site.  Royal Adelaide Hospital continues as a centre for excellence in medical research. It collaborates with Adelaide’s three universities in medical and nursing education. SAHMRI is the pioneer of the precinct. A new generation of top research minds is nurtured in its state-of-art headquarters, designed by Woods Bagot.


set by city council and state government, using smart technology

State government and city council in world-first push in 2015 for carbon-neutral Adelaide

The South Australian government and Adelaide City Council in 2015 formed a globally unique partnership to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2050. Despite doubters, the city council has maintained confidence in the target year, reduced to 2025, pointing to a 15% drop on carbon emissions during a 46% rise in residents, 35% more student enrolments and 42% more daily city users. In 2016, the state government and the City of Adelaide released the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan. Among its strategies were investing in energy efficiency and renewables, installing solar PV on low-income housing, laws to allow building owners to access private finance to upgrade buildings’ energy efficiency, investing in low emission public transport and encouraging cycling and walking; accelerating the use of electric vehicles, and reducing emissions from waste,. The Carbon Neutral Adelaide Awards, introduced in 2017, showcased community leaders and active contributors to the goal of City of Adelaide becoming the world’s first carbon neutral city. The awards incorporated the CitySwitch Green Office run successfully since 2008.


Council offering cash bonuses to businesses, residents, schools to make energy savings

Adelaide City Council, which runs Tindo, the world’s first solar electric bus, has led Australia in offering cash incentives to business, residents, schools and groups for energy saving. These incentives, dovetailing with the smart city strategy, include: up to $50,000 for installing solar PV panels; up to $5000 for installing energy storage; up to $500 per elective vehicle charging system; up to $5000 for apartment energy upgrades; up to $1000 for switch to LED downlights. Other moves to further cut city emissions include upgrades to Adelaide Aquatic Centre, the city's largest energy consumer, and changes to laws, making it easier to make environmental upgrades to commercial buildings. The first City of Adelaide Building Upgrade Finance project was launched in 2017 at Angas Securities House where a 30kW solar PV unit, green wall, upgraded lighting to LED, and a power factor correction system brought energy cost savings of at least $56,000 a year.



Adelaide as Australia's first Smart City makes big savings on energy with IoT technology

Adelaide City corporation has reduced energy spending by $800,000 in its own buildings since 2007 through Smart City technologies and using LED lights. Emission cuts of 60% have been made from its own operations since 1994 and 20% from the City of Adelaide community from 2007 to 2013. During this time, the population grew by 27%, office floor area increased by 16% and the economy grew by 28%. Tech giant Cisco declared Adelaide the first smart and connected Lighthouse City in Australia in 2015. Adelaide joined cities including Barcelona, Chicago, Hamburg and Dubai as leaders in showcasing Internet of Things (IoT) innovation where everyday devices can “talk” to each other via the internet. A Smart City Studio has been set up on the ground floor of the council’s Colonel Light Centre in Pirie Street, Adelaide.


Adelaide city now South Australia's hub for fast charging electric vehicles with 46 stations

The City of Adelaide has become the hub for an emerging electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The city and Noth Adelaide had 46 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in 2018 – a rapid rise from two in the previous year. Forty-two of the stations have been  installed by the City of Adelaide with the South Australian government, SA Power Networks and Mitsubishi at stations  in strategic on-street locations and in the city council’s Upark carparks. Tesla also has four charging points at 109 Franklin Street, Adelaide –  the first of a network of 50 charging points across South Australia. They are part of the agreement with the state government for Tesla to deliver the world’s largest lithium ion battery at Jamestown.

State library, art gallery, high school fitted with battery energy storage

Three government buildings – the State Library of South Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide High School – are being fitted with battery storage demonstration systems, in what is believed to be a national first. Government-buildings contribute more than 15% of greenhouse gas emissions in the city area. The state government also gave nearly $200,000 in 2017 for the South Australian Museum to upgrade inefficient costly lighting in its biggest exhibition spaces to LED lights.


Plans to extend lanes east-west/north-south to make Adelaide city friendlier for cyclists

Journeys by bike in Adelaide CBD have doubled since 2003.This builds on Adelaide (state government, city council) hosting Velo-city Global 2014, Australia’s largest cycling planning conference, in 2014. The momentum will continue with the $12 million Bikeways Project, by the government and city council. It will create a north-south cycling corridor (replacing the controversial Frome Street bike lanes) and an east-west cycling corridor. Other key city cycling projects in the city have included: Pirie Street bike lanes; Hindley Street West redevelopment; Waymouth Street bike lanes; Pulteney Street bike boxes; and the Peacock Road /South Terrace intersection improvements. Bike parking and rails have been added at numerous locations across the city, including Adelaide Oval, UParks, Victoria Square and Rundle Mall.

North Terrace, Festival Plaza tram lines part of North Adelaide, loop, EastLINK vision on hold

The tramline down the eastern end of North Terrace to the Adelaide Botanic Garden, operating after technical delays in mid 2018, was envisaged to mark the start of a proposed city tram loop and EastLINK to connect with Norwood in the eastern suburbs. Also in 2018, the start of what could become a tramline to North Adelaide was extended along King William Street to the Festival Centre plaza. These are offshoots of the Glenelg line that was continued down King William Street and on to the Entertainment Centre at Hindmarsh in 2007. The new Liberal state government in 2018 put a hold on plans for the city loop, Norwood and North Adelaide extensions. Late in 2018, the government also backtracked on an election promise to remedy what was promoted as a controversial lack of a right-hand turn east into North Terrace for trams from King William Street. This reversal was due to an estimated cost of $37 million rising to $117 million plus a derailment risk. The other city transport infrastructure completed in 2017 was the tunnel from Hackey Road under parklands at Rymill Park for O-Bahn buses to the north-eastern suburbs.


Pelzer Park/Pityarilla activity area adds to city's national treasure parklands green belt

Named after Adelaide's influential city gardener August Pelzer (1899-1932), Pelzer Park (also Pityarilla Park or Park 19) activity area on Glen Osmond Road in 2018 added to the attractions in the parklands green belt around Adelaide city that was recognised in 2008 as a national treasure. Now divided into 29 identities (with Aboriginal Kaurna names), the Adelaide parklands have been managed by Adelaide City Council and, since 2007, the Adelaide Park Lands Authority. Covering 930ha, the city parklands are the largest urban park system in Australia.


Green City Plan to add 1000 trees and 100,000 square metres of green area to CBD by 2020

A Green City Plan developed by the Adelaide City Council in 2017 includes adding 1000 trees and 100,000 square metres of green area around the CBD by 2020. The council’s $200,000 Green City grant program includes up to $10,000 for businesses and private homeowners with initiatives such as living walls, green facades as well as vertical and verge gardens. One of the successful first-round applicants was Jack Greens on James Place. Greening Australia also has been involved in an Adelaide Green Cities project. It has been working with partners to set up a carbon sequestration demonstration site next to Adelaide High School of West Terrace to help visitors and residents gain a better understanding of carbon offsets.

EcoCaddy trikes bring hybrid electric short-trip taxi experience to Adelaide city centre

EcoCaddy, a short-trip passenger service for the Adelaide city centre, using bamboo-bodied hybrid-electric tricycles, is consolidating on its challenging start in 2015.  EcoCaddy’s founder Daniels Langeberg, whose qualifications include bachelor of urban and regional planning with first class honours at the University of South Australia, worked in Shanghai, helping design green cities. While racing fixed-gear bikes in China, Langeberg met Chris and Florence Trees, designers and makers of Treecycle: an electric-assisted pedal trike, built from steam-pressed bamboo and aluminium, that now comprises EcoCaddy’s fleet. Besides taking on Adelaide’s car obsession, Langeberg became Australia’s first pedicab company in Australia to provide riders with a wage, rather than commission, to retain drivers who match the culture of the venture. The wage system was propped up by advertising and sponsorship on the vehicles. Courier and delivery services are other sidelines, and EcoCaddy diversified into city and parklands tours. Dovetailing with Adelaide City Council carbon-neutral goals and its own eco-friendly philosophy, EcoCaddy struck a deal with Ride, an operator of e-scooters in the Adelaide CDB, to collect and recharge its scooters with a custom-built EcoCart. These extra revenue possibilities have allowed EcoCaddy to settle more comfortably into new headquarters in Pulteney Street, Adelaide. EcoCaddy’s short-trip taxi service operates on a $10 flat fee within the Adelaide City Council zone, includes the Adelaide city centre, North Adelaide and the parklands. 

Adelaide City E-scooter trial extends to added carbon savings in venture with EcoCaddy

Two electric scooter companies, Singapore-based Beam and Melbourne-based Ride, begin operating a six-month trial across Adelaide CBD in 2019. They were chosen by Adelaide City Council ahead of Californian company Lime that run a four-week pilot program with 500 scooters used for 140,000 trips during the Adelaide Fringe. The shortlisted operators were assessed on criteria, including ability to restrict an e-scooter’s speed and braking. The council said Lime didn’t meet requirements because it wouldn't force its e-scooters to stop if they went outside the council-imposed boundaries. GPS-tracked and operated with a smartphone app, the new e-scooters operating in Adelaide were required by the council to reduce to a speed of four kilometres per hour. The new permit is limited to the CBD. If riders go beyond this (or into Rundle Mall no-go zone), Beam and Ride’s e-scooters will slow to a stop. Ride scooters has become a partner of Adelaide-born micro-mobility company EcoCaddy that operates a CBD pedal-assisted electric bike passenger service. In a deal maximising their common aim of reducing carbon emissions, Ride scooters and EcoCaddy developed a battery swapping system. Instead of a truck picking up scooters each day to move them to in-demand pickup points or to the depot for recharging, the batteries are swapped by a mechanic on an EcoCaddy bike. An EcoCargo trailer was designed to carry scooters around. The partnership worked so well that Ride scooters and EcoCaddy were looking to take it to the national level.


with space agency and Aboriginal gallery on former hospital site

GigCity Adelaide using superfast SABRENet to link CBD and suburban innovation precincts

Adelaide CBD, through its universities, research precincts and entrepreneur spaces, is also linked to other innovation districts in the wider metropolitan area via the $7.6 million GigCity Adelaide network, set up by the state government. The GigCity Adelaide network is separate but complementary with the Ten Gigabit Adelaide strategy, funded by the City of Adelaide. GigCity Adelaide uses the existing South Australian Research and Education Broadband Network (SABRENet) optical fibre network, owned by the state government and South Australia’s universities, and connecting the state’s research and educational sites on a 1 Gigabit per second fibre optic network. This is 1,000 times faster than the national average and 10 times the download speed of the NBN. The CBD sites linked to GigCity Adelaide include St Paul’s Creative, The Hub and Adelaide Smart City Studio.

Ten Gigabit Adelaide brings world's fastest average internet speed to the city's businesses

Adelaide City Council appointed TPG in 2017 to roll out Ten Gigabit Adelaide, an Australia-first fibre optic-to-business CBD network with no installation costs for businesses. The $10 million-plus Ten Gigabit Adelaide initiative will supply Adelaide and North Adelaide businesses with internet speeds of between one or 10 gigabits per second. Local data company Pernix said Adelaide CBD with the network would leap from having an average internet service among the world’s slowest and most expensive to the fastest and cheapest by far. It favourably compares Adelaide to South Korean capital Seoul, considered the global leader for internet speed. The service is complementary to the National Broadband Network, a fibre-to-the-kerb network for residents (and some businesses) in Adelaide’s CBD.

AdelaideFree WiFi in 2014 the big first step in making Adelaide a better connected city

AdelaideFree, providing free wireless coverage in outdoor areas across the CBD and North Adelaide, is the largest city wifi network in Australia and one of the biggest in the western world. Funded since 2014 by City of Adelaide and South Australian government, AdelaideFree was built and operated by Internode, a South Australian-based internet provider, now part of the iiNet group. The network, with more than 200 access points, was upgraded in 2017. Once connection it made to AdelaideFree WiFi network on a phone, tablet or laptop, it will automatically connect when in range. Locations for AdelaideFree wifi include Rundle Mall and Hutt Street locations, Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide Zoo, Botanic Garden kiosk and the Art Gallery of South Australia,


HUB Adelaide and St Paul's part of the entrepreneurial push in the Smart City concept

Building on the smart city theme, the city isn fostering entrepreneurs. Adelaide City Council’s Enterprise Adelaide service provides information and advice to small business owners within its area.  HUB Adelaide, launched in Peel Street in 2013, has become home to permanent and 60% freelance entrepreneurs and small business. The former church and St Paul’s Function Centre in Pulteney Street has become the centre for creative industries and innovation.


$551 million City Deal focus on Lot Fourteen innovation hub, with space agency, gallery

The $551 million Adelaide City Deal, a 10-year agreement between the Australian government, South Australian government and the City of Adelaide in 2019, aims to boost Adelaide’s innovative drive and vibrancy. Under the City Deal, the governments will invest in Lot Fourteen, the former site of the Royal Adelaide Hospital on North Terrace, Adelaide, as hub for innovators, entrepreneurs and artistic creators. Lot Fourteen will host the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency, its mission control centre and the Australian Space Discovery Centre. The City Deal will also invest in an Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery ($85 million) and an International Centre for Tourism, Hospitality and Food Studies at Lot Fourteen. Other investments as part of the city deal will include $10 million from the federal government and up to $12.6 million from the City of Adelaide towards smart technology. It will be part of plans for the state’s digital service delivery while building the National Broadband Network, the South Australian government's Gig City, and the City of Adelaide's Ten Gigabit Adelaide. An Aboriginal business hub for Lot Fourteen will receive $3 million. Governments will work with the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and the University of South Australia as Collaborating Partners on developing the City Deal plan.

On-street parking space sensors and people movement sensors part of Smart City projects

Nearly 2,800 parking sensors were installed across Adelaide's CBD in 2018 in the city council's latest Smart City project. The sensors beneath existing numbered carpark spaces will notify motorists through the Park Adelaide App what on-street parks are available and enable them to pay or top up through a smartphone or device. The council also launched a project to monitor people movements in and around the city with 60 people movement sensors across the CBD and North Adelaide. Pedestrian, cyclists and vehicles will be counted without identifying individuals, their mobile device or any other personal information. The first video detection devices were installed on Hutt Street, North Terrace/Bank Street, the intersection of King William Street and North Terrace, and Gouger and Franklin streets.

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