Ebenezer Howard, founder of Letchworth Garden City
Ebenezer Howard, the founder of Letchworth Garden City and the Garden City movement.
In 1898, Ebenezer Howard, appalled at the very unpleasant living and working conditions in the late 19th Century towns and cities, wrote a book outlining his ideas for a completely new way of living. The book, 'Tomorrow, A Peaceful Path to Real Reform', was later republished as 'Garden Cities of Tomorrow' in 1902.
Ebenezer Howard believed that the very best of both town and country life should be married together in small Garden Cities, each with its own greenbelt. He promoted well-planned towns with careful land zoning and a quality of life.
A Garden City would have well designed houses with gardens set in tree lined avenues, clean and healthy work places and a pleasant and healthy environment in which to live, work and follow leisure pursuits.
'There are in reality not only, as is so constantly assumed, two alternatives - town life and country life - but a third alternative, in which all the advantages of the most energetic and active town life, with all the beauty and delight of the country, may be secured in perfect combination. Human society and the beauty of nature are meant to be enjoyed together.'
Ebenezer Howard, 1898
In 1903, First Garden City Ltd commenced the building of an experimental town on 3,818 acres of land at Letchworth, to prove that Howard's ideas were practical. The Garden City became a reality. A unique town where the profit from the management and development of the land was to be returned to the benefit of the town. That town is Letchworth Garden City.