Wednesday, October 19, 2011

History of Letchworth Garden City

via First Garden City Heritage Museum

In 1898 a small book was published that was to have an effect all over the world. This book, entitled ‘Tomorrow A Peaceful path To Real Reform’, led to the building of two Garden Cities, inspired similar developments world-wide and set a precedent in new standards for urban environments that is still in use today.
The author was Ebenezer Howard, a shorthand writer and social reformer, who believed that he had the solution to the problems of the uncontrolled growth of towns and the migration of people from the countryside to the towns seeking jobs and homes.
By the late 19th century, towns and cities in this country - and in many of the industrialised nations - were overcrowded, polluted by factories and workshops and by the smoke from the coal fires of houses. Many people were living in slum housing and the quality of life for the poorest people, in particular, was almost indescribably bad.
In the countryside, life was often no better with many people out of work and living in houses that were as deficient as the worst houses found in the towns. Many agricultural workers and their families were forced to leave the country for the towns where they hoped to find jobs and houses. In fact, for many people life in the towns was just as difficult as the life they had left behind them.

read more

more about planning history:

Urban Planning and the British New Right

Railways, Urban Development and Town Planning in Britain, 1948–2008

Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City

Assessment of Garden City Planning Principles in the ACT

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