City of villages

Like all cities, Sydney is not one undifferentiated whole, but a collection of self-identified regions which may or may not line up with current administrative and government boundaries.

Some of these regions and their names date back to before the establishment of local government boundaries, and refer to earlier divisions of land, such as the parish system of 1834.

‘City of villages’ is of course the motto of the City of Sydney, and describes the distinct localities and communities within the boundaries of the City. Although these areas are close together, they all maintain different communities and ‘personalities’. Check out Chippendale, Darlinghurst, The Rocks, Wolloomooloo, Surry Hills, Millers Point, Darlington and Ultimo, for some of the ups and downs of inner city living.

Sydney 2008, courtesy of Airview 0801-1105-21

We also have articles on some of the smaller localities, like East Circular Quay, Haymarket and Broadway, as well as city treasures like the Royal Botanic Gardens, Chinese Gardens and Hyde Park. You can also find out about Sydney’s three separate Chinatowns.

Probably next to be developed was the area now known as the Inner West. Growing up along the road south, the New Town grew out of a collection of farming villages, and suburbs such as Enmore, Stanmore, and Annandale sprang up, followed by Marrickville, Sydenham and Dulwich Hill. These days, what is considered Inner West is growing, encompassing suburbs as diverse as Rozelle to the north, and Croydon and Haberfield to the west.

The Shire, to Sydney’s south, is an area where local identification maps closely to the administrative structure, as Sutherland Shire Council is the local government authority. But coming from ‘the Shire’ is about more than local government. Find out more about Sutherland, Jannali, Como and  Engadine, in this beautiful part of Sydney.

Three lots of census figures for every suburb in Sydney -- look for the Demographics link on every suburb page.

All our suburb pages ( more than 600!) include census demographics for each suburb, and more than 150 have a full entry and pictures as well as a map. It’s a great way to explore parts of Sydney you aren’t familiar with yet, or to revisit old haunts.

Come back for more of Sydney’s regions  here later in the week.

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About Emma Grahame

Emma Grahame has been Editorial Coordinator of the Dictionary of Sydney since May 2007.
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