North Terrace (old Royal Adelaide Hospital)

The story of the Park Lands and Light’s plan for the City of Adelaide is a changing one.  Some marvel that a town plan made 180 years ago can still be relevant today and question slavish adherence to it.  And yet, Adelaide is recognised as one of the world’s most liveable cities, for which Light deserves at least part of the credit for his bold vision and elegant design.  Some argue there is still more to learn from his plan as we head towards its 200th anniversary. Adelaide’s Park Lands are a cherished and fiercely defended legacy which is continuously contested as the demands of modern development seek to reconfigure the city and consume its open space. 

One of those contested spaces in the site of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which has stood on the eastern end of North Terrace since 1840, not where Light had placed it in the Park Lands east of the city.  Now a new hospital has been built at the Western end of North Terrace bringing into play the old hospital site.  Could this site finally be returned to Park Lands, or will it succumb to the pressures of development?  Debate rages on.  Light’s plan has served us well and may continue to provide some answers for the future.


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