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April 20 , 2009

Garden Cities


Garden Cities: the phrase is redolent of Arts and Crafts values and nineteenth-century utopianism. But despite being the culmination of a range of influential movements, and having global influence themselves, in fact there were only ever two true, self-contained Garden Cities in England - far more numerous were Garden Suburbs and Villages. Crystallised in England by social visionary Ebenezer Howard and executed in many cases by planners and architects Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, the concept arose from nineteenth-century industrial settlements like Port Sunlight (and, earlier, Saltaire and Akroyden), and also from the City Beautiful movement in the US. The settlements were designed to promote healthy and comfortable individual and community life, as well as supporting commerce and industry, and were - and are - instantly and attractively recognisable. This book is a beautifully illustrated guide to the movement as a whole, from its earliest influences through practical difficulties in implementation to the continuing vitality of the communities which are its legacy.

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