How has the occupation and use of the Sydney Harbor area changed over time

Over the course of time, both the land use and demographic of the Sydney Harbor area has changed significantly. The land was originally used by the Aboriginal people for tribal uses. Sydney Harbor was used as a fishing area for the Aboriginals. Ever since 1788 all the way to current times Sydney has been undergoing dramatic change in economy and society.

Despite the fact Sydney Harbor was considered the Gadigal Band’s territory, when Captain Arthur Phillip decided to settle at Sydney Cove he considered it a ‘no man’s land’ and claimed the land as his people’s land. There were many benefits to settling near the harbor. First of all, there was easy access to fresh water; the area was sheltered and easy to defend. Around the area there was also plenty of timber for fuel and building and this was very beneficial to aiding the uprising of the British settlement. The current Sydney Cove no longer has the large amount of trees due to the bustling Sydney CBD developments

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Darling Harbor was later on used for industrial purposes. Docks, railway, shipping terminals were all located on the harbor. It was originally named “Cockle Bay” due to the abundance of shellfish found on the harbor. Not long after, there was a decline as a port. It is now a recreational centre with shopping centers, 15 hotels, 100 restaurants and the Convention Centre located there. In comparison to the Darling Harbor from back in 1901, nowadays there has been a buildup in traffic congestion and there is much less people walking. The amount of high rise buildings has increased.

Throughout the early 19th century Bennelong Point was used as a fort. The fort didn’t last long and was soon after demolished and turned into a tram terminal. Since Bennelong Point was located in an inconvenient place setting up tram lines wasn’t exactly the best idea. During the mid 1990’s Eugene Goossens was searching for a space to build a drama theatre. It was not long after that the Sydney Opera House was designed and in 1973 it was built. The Sydney Opera House is located on the center of Bennelong Point and is now a major tourist attraction.

A dramatic example of change in land use within Sydney would be Balmain. Balmain was originally bushland, it wasn’t until the 1830’s that industrial development began. Timber and steel warehouse were built and many of the residential properties built belonged to the low-class society during the century. Thanks to gentrification the current Balmain has been developed into a livable area. It was during the 20th century when Balmain was a much undeveloped, poor class, region and wasn’t appealing to the rest of the population. Due to the movement of wealthier people into the region, economic flow has increased and the area began to appeal to much higher income earners. Now many artists, actors and musicians are appealed to the area because of the many parklands that have replaced the original commercial buildings.

Although not technically an area of its own, the Harbor Bridge is worth mentioning as an aspect of Sydney that has changed dramatically over the years. The Sydney Harbor Bridge was built in 1932 and was a direct connection between the CBD and North Shore. This connection helped increase the amount of CBD workers due to easy movement. Before the building of the bridge, not much money was put into property development within the beautiful North Shore since it was such an inconvenience to drive to the CBD and there for didn’t appeal to homebuyers. Now working class people are living in the North Shore and the area is considered to be a wealthy area due to the easy entrance to the city.

Another dramatic example of change in land use would have to be Woolloomooloo. This area was inhabited by the Aboriginals until the British settlers took over. The area was originally known as the “Garden Cove”. Woolloomooloo was an important area through the 19th Century because it was an economically important region. Many industries, factories and commercial properties were built here and a large amount of money was made in the area, adding to the economy of the city. Despite the abundance of factories and industrial developments in the area, it was highly appealing to the wealthy people and most of them chose to live there. It was after both world wars that Woolloomooloo underwent urban decay and became a slum, but just like Balmain it went through gentrification and was built up again. Houses are being refurbished and prices in residential properties have increased due to the waterfront aspect.

All in all there have been some major changes within the Sydney area. Ever since colonization there has been substantial economic development, government changes and the overall look of the Sydney Harbor has improved. The occupation and land use of Sydney Harbor has become much more effective and will continue to be developed into an area that can be as beneficial as possible.

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