Canberra is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Australia. With a population of over 334,000, it is Australia's largest inland city. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 650 km (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 age-old rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities.
It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely purpose-built, planned city.
Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin Marion Mahony 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 were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II.