As recently as ten years ago, the academic literature on Australian cities could fairly have been described as thin. Reviewing the major works of Australian historians in 1968, Connell (1968: 12) noted that "in none of them—not one—is there a single chapter on urban history". Our political scientists, economists and sociologists could not have claimed a much better performance. The same could not be said now.A major intellectual stimulus to the growth of urban studies was the appearance in 1970 of Hugh Stretton's Ideas for Australian Cities (Stretton, 1970), a book which the author published himself after six commercial publishers had deemed it unsuitable. Add to this the political stimulus of the Whitlam government,with its unprecedented urban orientation, and the result has been an increasing output of urban literature.