Ebenezer Howard: A Garden City Movement

1271 Words6 Pages
Many city beautifying movements have been proposed and adopted around the world since Ebenezer Howards’ Garden City planning style; however, few if any, have had the staying power that Howards’ plans for a self-sufficient city have. His humble beginnings as a farmer led him to being one of the most popular advocates for bringing the agricultural areas into the city. His plan included a way to balance the positives and negatives of both city and urban life and incorporating the good from each into a modern look at city planning. Howard was born in Fore Street in the City of London. His father was a common shopkeeper, which did not give him any advantages of class or special education. At an early age he was sent away to school, where he received an early exposure to a more rural environment. His education took him to several locations throughout the English countryside, finally completing his education at the age of 15. Influenced by an Uncle who was a farmer, at the age of 21 he immigrated with two companions to the United States with the intention of farming. They traveled to the West and he settled on 160 acres in Howard County, Nebraska as a homestead farmer. This venture failed miserably and after holding several jobs in Chicago as a stenographer, he was forced to return to England. It was in England that the first idea of his idea for new city planning came to him. He surmised that all parties, no matter what social class or area were to be affected by the onslaught of continuous migration from the countries to the cities. Howard felt that the background to the problem was the growth of the Victorian industrial cities. Industrialization had drawn the population into the cities with the promise of better wages, and amongst other attractions, more opportunities for work and social activities. Unfortunately the cities quickly became overcrowded. During the late
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