Canberra is one of the nation’s foremost assets. As the Seat of Government and National Capital, the city is a vital part of Australia’s history and an important visitor destination. It contains the nation’s leading university, its premier cultural collections and the high ranks of the Australian defence establishment. Canberra is host to the diplomatic community and to international trade delegations. Its symbolic heart, the Central National Area, provides the setting, backdrop and approaches for some of the nation’s most important buildings and memorials.

As the world’s largest Garden City, it has a reputation that is well deserved. Yet for many, Canberra still has not realised its full potential. The beautiful landscapes and monuments are not matched by a cosmopolitan lifestyle expected of such an important national and international centre. Parts of the city give a glimpse of the grand civic design envisaged by Griffin – of parks and boulevards, public buildings and monuments – but other areas are an anticlimax. Traffic overwhelms the central streets of the city; outdated office precincts are dominated by carparks and deserted after hours; the city, in many areas, is cut off from the lake by a ring of freeways. Without a far-sighted city plan, urban development pressure and traffic threaten to diminish the capital’s special qualities – to encroach on its leafy garden suburbs and erode its celebrated landscape setting.

In 2004 , the National Capital Authority (NCA), the Commonwealth agency responsible for planning and developing the National Capital in accordance with its ‘national significance’, prepared a major strategy to unlock the potential of Canberra’s Central National Area, its landscape setting and approaches: THE GRIFFIN LEGACY – A POLICY FRAMEWORK

The Griffin Legacy - Artist impression

The Griffin Legacy - Artist impression


The full 'Griffin Legacy' is unfortunately no longer in print and the NCA do not have copies available for retail sale. The NCA do hold reference copies for viewing at its offices.

A snapshot of the 'Griffin Legacy' and its key themes is available for download below.