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Letchworth Garden City

Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
1 of 4Pinterest

Letchworth was developed and owned by a company called First Garden City, Ltd which was formed in 1903, based on the ideas of Howard. After Howard's book was published he worked to gain financial support to bring his ideas into reality, Howard ran lectures on Garden Cities and began the Garden City Association. The Garden City Association collected money from supporters, his supporters tended to be people who were impressed by the social justice element of the Garden City. The Letchworth estate which was agricultural land, was purchased from 15 individual owners. The Letchworth estate lies on a train line and is only 35 miles from London, making commuting possible.

The original land on which Letchworth was built cost the First Garden City, Ltd £160,378 and covered 3826 acres. However, more land was purchased and the property increased to 4710 acres. The Letchworth garden city was to sustain a population of between 30,000 and 35,000. There would be a central town, agricultural belt, shops, factories, residences, civic centres and open spaces, this division of land for specific purposes is now referred to as zoning and is an important practice within town planning.

Howard constructed Letchworth as an example of how the Garden City could be achieved, and hoped that in its success many other towns would be built emulating the same ideals. Some criticisms of Letchworth exist, claims that it is too spacious and there are few architecturally impressive designs. However, it can be argued the space is what makes Letchworth pleasant, and the architecture, while not highly impressive and uniform, has consistency of colour and is satisfying to the needs of the people.