Canberra is the capital city of Australia and with a population of just over 325,000, is Australia's largest inland city. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 300 kilometres (190 mi) southwest of Sydney, and 650 kilometres (400 mi) north-east of Melbourne. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities as an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by Chicago architect Walter Burley Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913.
The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title "bush capital". Although the growth and development of Canberra was hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II.