Garden City - Greenbelts - Satellite City - Le Corbusier's "Glorious City" - Soleri's Arcology - Fuller's Domed City - Civilia - Sea Cities - The Non-City
Modern city planning began around 1898 when the English
planner Ebenezer Howard proposed the building of new towns to attract residents
away from London. Howard's Garden Cities would have their own industries, and
those who worked in them could live close by. Each new small city would have
various sections zoned for commerce, culture, and schools, but most important,
there would be generous expanses of green areas. A successful example is Singapore,
the Garden City. Each town would be encircled by its own agricultural belt so
that all residents would be in close proximity to green countryside. Howard's
goals were to open up the urban setting, to screen off ugly work areas, to bring
people and green space together, and to eliminate the need for long-distance
There was, in the original Garden City concept, an implied assumption that as population grew, there would be plenty of open land in which to locate new towns in the rural countryside at the various node points of a connecting network of highways. There are, for example, vast areas of open land in the United States and Canada that would permit such a development.
Garden City proponents also assumed that the replication of many small towns, each averaging a population of about 30,000, would be a stable arrangement, that most residents would settle for long periods of time in their Garden City and find work there too. It is also assumed that rather than living in large cities, people would really prefer to live in a small town close to green countryside. Finally, the last assumption is that a decentralized social order made up of more or less self-sufficient repetitive units would be intrinsically better than that of a big centralized city in which many kinds of specialized life pursuits are possible. Ebenezer Howard succeeded in establishing one Garden City. Letchworth in England. But his hope that garden cities would proliferate never materialized. Nevertheless, the concept of Garden Cities influenced all subsequent urban planning. Various planners have given the Garden City assumptions various names, but all are basically similar. Here are the three outstanding realizations of the Garden City approach.