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Royal Commissions, planning reform and Sydney improvement 1908–1909

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The rise of modern urban planning in the early twentieth century was marked by experimentation in the investigatory mechanisms of urban government. The Royal Commission model had proved successful in Victorian era inquiries in Britain into public health and associated matters. It proved an influential precedent in other parts of the Empire. Several important Royal Commission hearings were held in the early 1900s in Australia as the state sought to explore in a systematic way for the first time the dysfunctional results and strategic correctives arising from capitalist processes of urban growth and development. Against the background of the Royal Commission model of public inquiry, the origins, operations and outcomes of a crucial early twentieth century inquiry are discussed: the Royal Commission into the Improvement of Sydney and its Suburbs in 1908–9.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

Publication date: 01 July 2006

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