Garden City

views updated May 29 2018

Garden City and Garden Suburb. The concept of the Garden City was devised in England by Ebenezer Howard in order to combine the benefits of town and country, and involved the creation of a town built in the countryside with all facilities, places of work, etc. Influenced by the Garden Suburbs (low-density developments that were essentially derived from the Picturesque tradition of houses in gardens evolved by Nash and others at e.g. Blaise Hamlet near Bristol), the first Garden City was at Letchworth, Herts. (begun 1903), designed by Parker and Unwin. The ver-nacular-revival style of houses at Letchworth was influenced by the earlier Garden Suburb at Bedford Park, Chiswick, London (from 1877), and by housing developments and settlements such as Port Sunlight (from 1888) and Bournville, Birmingham (from 1879). The Hampstead Garden Suburb (from 1906) was an excellent example of low-density development in which the Domestic Revival featured prominently, but it was essentially a dormitory suburb as opposed to a Garden City, which was, in theory, largely self-contained. Germany acquired an important development at Hellerau, near Dresden, designed by Riemerschmid and Tessenow (begun 1907), and in Belgium, influenced by Geddes, Louis van der Swaelmen (1883–1929—author of Préliminaires d'art civique (1916) ) played a major part in planning the first Garden Cities at Selzaete, near Gent (Ghent) (1921–3), Kapelleveld (1923–6), and three more near Brussels, including the Cité Floreal and Boitefort. Stein promoted Howard's ideas in the USA.


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