Conference paper


Harbour Bridge, Opera house - the harbour is Sydney’s most iconic landscape feature. Stretching from Parramatta in the west to Manly in the north. Sydney's 'ocean' beaches maybe where the city escapes to, but it is the harbour that is at the heart of Sydney's demonstrative public life, around which the city's commercial and cultural activity primarily revolves.

The harbour acts not only as a large watery plaza but it's convoluted jagged nature runs into a myriad of different coves that are public and intimate. The position, shape and size of these Coves create a diversity of topographical characteristics that provide a focus for different communities to gravitate to. It is proposed that Sydney as a city is unique in having public beaches that operate both to the internal (everyday) and external (escapist) life of the city with its harbour and ocean beaches in close proximity. While both Melbourne's circular bay and the Gold Coast's strip beach provide a coastal feature that unifies the city. Sydney Harbour however never provides one vantage point in which the city is understandable. It is a harbour of coves you must enter to view, unveiling its secrets and communities only as a process of discovery and searching.

The purpose of the profile is to show the importance of the cove’s points as iconic touchstones for the character of Sydney Harbour, and the cove’s bays in determining the social interaction of Sydney’s communities.

Publication Details
Source Title: 
Proceedings of the 13th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2016
Published year only: 
Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage