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- 1907-1934 (Creation)
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The Garden Cities Pamphlets Collection contains informational pamphlets advertising garden cities in England, Germany and the United States. There are accompanying maps with some pamphlets. Other pamphlets include more general information addressing urban planning.
As a reaction to the overcrowding, pollution and turmoil in major English cities at the end of the nineteenth century, the idea of the garden city was born. The brainchild of Ebenezer Howard, he believed the solution to the problem was to build communities where housing, industry and agriculture could coexist. In order to achieve this, he believed all three sectors must be of equal size, with each one being surrounded by an expanse of green, undeveloped land, creating an ideal combination of the city and the country. Howard published his idea in 1898 in the book, “Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform.”
The first two garden cities planned and executed were Letchworth and Welwyn, both in Hertfordshire, England. Howard’s ideas also influenced urban planning in the United States. By the 1920s, the idea of the garden city had taken hold, especially on the Eastern seaboard. This resulted in communities like Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, New York and Radburn, New Jersey being built.
Shortly after World War II, the idea of the garden city once again gained prominence in England. The New Towns Act was passed in 1946 to help rebuild urban communities damaged during the war. This led to Howard’s concepts of equality and coexistence in building communities being embraced.
The garden city and the ideas upon which it was built have since been employed around the world.
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