The districts were settled in the following chronological order: The North and South Canberra districts are substantially based on Walter Burley Griffin's designs.
Suburbs in Canberra Central (often referred to as North Canberra and South Canberra) were further developed in the 1950s and urban development in the districts of Woden Valley and Belconnen commenced in the mid and late 1960s respectively.
In this role, Griffin oversaw the design of North and South Canberra, though he struggled with considerable political and bureaucratic obstacles.
Plans to create Westbourne, Southbourne and Eastbourne Avenues to complement Canberra's Northbourne Avenue were eliminated, as did a proposed railway connecting South Canberra to North Canberra, and on to Yass, 35 mi (55 km) away.
A market area that would have been at Russell Hill in North Canberra was moved south to what is now Fyshwick, next to South Canberra.
Fyshwick is a retail and light industry suburb of Canberra and is located east of the South Canberra district.