Chief Minister Katy Gallagher. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Canberrans are more passionate about their city than ever, but are increasingly sensitive to perceptions that their home is ''boring'' and not taken seriously as the national capital, a new study shows.
The ACT government will publish on Monday the findings of its final centenary year survey, which shows that Canberra's big birthday year has deepened the pride Canberrans feel for their city.
The study found that, in 2013, 91 per cent of Canberrans have felt proud of their city, up from 76 per cent in 2012.
Canberrans rated their city as progressive, safe, peaceful and responsible and ''a city of achievement''.
But most residents believed the rest of Australia did not share the love for their national capital, with just 27 per cent saying Canberra was viewed positively by other Australians - down from 43 per cent in 2012.
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said that a year of centenary celebrations had resulted in a population that was almost brimming with civic pride and Canberra's place as the national capital was starting to be ''well understood''.
But Ms Gallagher said Canberrans had developed ''a glass jaw'' on the subject of Canberra-bashing, and would have to become more resilient if they wanted to improve perceptions outside of the capital.
''We're very defensive, I think, because of all the Canberra bashing that goes on,'' she said.
''I think part of the way to change perceptions is we have to stop being so precious.''
The government, which last week unveiled a $2.6 million plan for ''Brand Canberra'' to capitalise on the centenary year's momentum, will use the survey results to trumpet its year-long birthday program as a success.
The ACT government poured about $24 million into the centenary year, which was topped up with a further $6 million in federal government funding.
The government conducted three surveys in 2013, each consisting of interviews with 200 Canberrans.
The final results show that as well as a boost in overall civic pride, the percentage of Canberrans who felt ''extremely proud'' of their city had grown from 16 per cent at the start of 2013 to 35 per cent at the end of the year.
Canberrans said their city was ''welcoming'', a leader in the sciences, the arts and sport, and a ''liveable'' place with plenty of opportunities.
Ninety-four per cent of respondents also felt that ''there is more to Canberra than people know''.
''It's confirmed what I've picked up across the city over the year which is, as the year's gone on, people have become more aware of the centenary, they've become more proud of the city,'' Ms Gallagher said. ''That was one of the goals of the centenary.''
But not all of the reviews were positive.
Thirty-two per cent of people surveyed felt their city was ''too serious'' and 24 per cent said it was ''too one-dimensional''.
Respondents who were not proud of their city said it was ''boring'', too expensive, ''doesn't feel like a national capital'' and ''most Australians seem to dislike Canberrans''.
Canberrans said the city should be striving to become a capital that was held in similar regard to Washington.