"Dunedin in 1901" : a study in historical urban geography
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this study is to examine the geographic character of Dunedin in 1901. It is a reconstruction of the urban geography of this city 60 years ago. “The genetic approach to geographical study leads inevitably to an examination of the past"; but not only is the past an aid to the understanding of the present - it is worthy of a study in itself. The choice of 1901 as the date for this study is not an arbitary one. By that year Dunedin had passed through its period of greatest expansion. No longer was she largest in population or leader in manufacturing status. While still a large manufacturing city, by New Zealand standards, she had lost to Auckland her one-time supremacy. Thus 1901 marks the end of an era. The advent of the twentieth century heralded many changes, social as well as industrial in the character of Dunedin. A cursory comparison of the Land Use map of the Urban Region 1901, with the Land Use map prepared by A. D. Tweedie in 1949, suggests that Dunedin has not expanded area as much as the other main centres. G. J. R. Linge, in his article on The Location of Manufacturing in New Zealand, also suggests, that Dunedin has not developed industrially. Whether these views are true or not, and why, is a study for another thesis. For the purposes of this thesis the Urban Region of Dunedin in 1901 was defined as the continuously built-up portion of the City of Dunedin and the suburban boroughs. Surrounding farmland was excluded from this Urban Region even if it came within the boundaries of the various administrative units that made up Dunedin. The break between rural and urban land use was more definite in 1901 than it is today. (The definition of the Rural-Urban Fringe, where it existed in 1901, is discussed in more detail in Chapter Five). Chapter two deals with the growth of Dunedin from 1848 to 1901. This historical outline considers the general development of the city; it includes a discussion of such phenomena as the site of Dunedin, the progress of land reclamation from the harbour, the growth of commercial and industrial areas within the Urban Region, and the provision of public utilities. In this chapter the scene is set for a consideration of Dunedin at the turn of the century.