An aerial shot of a suburb. The houses sit in a circle around a round body of water with an opening for the water at the base of the image. there are boats at piers in the water.
Richard Woldendorp, Housing development on the artifical James Cook Island, Sylvania Waters, New South Wales, 1996, nla.obj-136869340

Despite the importance of the bush in Australian culture, art and literature, since the 1910s most Australians have lived in urban environments. This division has become even more pronounced in the last half-century, and now around 90 per cent of the population lives in cities and major towns.

The collection contains vast numbers of photographs documenting the built environment, both rural and urban. There are images of homes and large public buildings, streets and bridges, cities and towns. In recent times, photographers have found something compelling even in our more prosaic buildings and structures, in their various states of construction, use and neglect.