Son of an architect, Bérard studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts,
and won several medals. He continued to win prizes in design competitions,
and won international attention with his plan for New Guayquil in Ecuador
in 1907. Highly regarded by his peers, Bérard became president of
the Société Française des Urbanistes, and held other
executive positions in town planning organisations.
Bérard submitted a composition based on a mosaic of compact urban
neighbourhoods, each with a civic square and monumental group of buildings.
He tied these together and to the formal city centre with major radial
thoroughfares. His perspective makes clear that he intended Canberra to
be the Paris of the South Pacific.