It’s probably no secret to both my readers that Melbourne is my favourite Australian city. And it’s not just the footy,although it helps. Here’s one reason: there’s an old English proverb, first used used by Alexander Pope, I think:
“God made the country; and man made the town.”
You don’t have to be religious to get the point.1 What the gods gave Sydney was a beautiful harbour; with some obviously blinding exceptions, it’s the man-made parts that let it down. Apart from the harbour and points around it, too much of the wider townscape is like a large Henderson,with an even larger car park.
Melbourne feels different. Melbourne inherited virtually nothing from the gods – a flat cityscape, a dull sort of port, a river floating upside down. But what man brought to it, that’s what makes it a great city.
Melbourne is a man-made city. It’s a great man-made city.
This student film does a great job of describing why …
1. In the wider context, Ayn Rand called it the distinction between the metaphysical and the man-made, but that takes us way off-piste.