By Alex Howlett
The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Adelaide as the world’s 10th most liveable city last year, based on factors such as healthcare, education and infrastructure. The capital of South Australia also has a thriving business scene.
Adelaide, which has a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and mild winters, has felt the impact of climate change. Last year was its sixth warmest on record and January 2019 its warmest ever month. The central business district did not record rainfall for 47 days in summer 2018-19.
The state government and Adelaide city council formed a partnership in 2015 with the aim of making Adelaide the world’s first carbon-neutral city. This was part of a state target to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan 2016-2021 proposes measures such as implementing sustainable behaviour programmes in offices, schools and universities, and developing low-carbon industries.
The state runs a seven-week course called Living Smart, which teaches people about sustainability, including topics such as waste, water, gardening, transport and community.
The Competitive Alternatives report by business advisers KPMG found Adelaide was the most cost-competitive city in Australia for business: in 2016, it cost companies 7.4 per cent less to do business there than Sydney, and more than 15 per cent less than London.
On top of that, labour costs in South Australia are 9 per cent lower than the national average, according to the state government.
The state of South Australia has made life easier for businesses by abolishing payroll tax for small businesses this year, and scrapping stamp duty on corporate reconstruction and non-residential property in recent years.
Adelaide’s GigCity plan, which is aimed at young entrepreneurs and start-ups in the city and is the first of its kind in Australia, provides access to a super-fast, affordable fibre-optic broadband network across 12 different “innovation precincts”. There are plans to expand the scheme to a further 15 neighbourhoods over the next couple of years.
The city council describes Adelaide as the world’s only “city within a park”. In 1837, Colonel William Light, the first surveyor general of South Australia, designed a grid layout for the city surrounded by around 930 hectares of parkland.
Listed as a National Heritage site in 2008, the Adelaide Park Lands are now home to amenities including the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, North Adelaide Golf Course, Adelaide Zoo and the Botanic Gardens, which features a Victorian palm house brought over from Germany in 1875.
Further afield, Mount Lofty Summit, which is more than 700 metres high and 15 km south-east of Adelaide, provides views of the city.
There seems to be a festival for everything in Adelaide, with umbrella organisation Festivals Adelaide representing the 11 biggest arts and cultural events.
Adelaide Festival, which includes theatre productions, musical acts, writers, dance and visual arts, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2020. Previous performers include Grace Jones, Allen Ginsberg, Marlene Dietrich, Philip Glass, Nina Simone and Isabella Rossellini.
The coast to the west of Adelaide is lined with beaches, most of which are less than half an hour’s drive from the city centre. The sandy suburbs of West Beach and Henley Beach are the end point of the River Torrens Linear Park Trail, a 35km walking path that passes through Adelaide’s central business district.
In addition to its popular stretch of sand, Semaphore Beach (a 15-minute drive up the coast from Henley Beach) has a 1920s bathing pavilion and the oldest working carousel in the southern hemisphere.
Glenelg Beach is one of Adelaide’s most popular as the Glenelg tram connects it to the city centre. It can be reached via the shop-lined Jetty Road.
Photographs: Getty Images/iStockphoto; Dreamstime; Andrey Moisseyev; Sharon Wills