Letchworth Garden City - Willian - Broadway - Norton Park

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The rapid industrial growth of the nineteenth century meant that British cities, especially London, were filthy, unpleasant places to live and bursting at the seams.

Ebenezer Howard, visionary and planner, started to envision a type of city which combined the best of both town and country. In his words “There are, in reality, not only 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.” Out of this belief came the Garden City Movement and its first manifestation, Letchworth Garden City, which was founded in 1905. Its driving architectural principles were: lower density housing than in a city, zoned areas for industry, the separation of pedestrians and motor cars, plenty of green spaces and easy access to the countryside.

Letchworth was followed in 1920 by Welwyn Garden City and then the New Towns of the post-war years, which were all substantially influenced by the Garden City Movement.

This walk is of immense interest if you want to begin to understand the rationale behind the urban and especially suburban layouts in out twentieth century towns. There are lots of interesting pieces of architecture, especially residential; and the walk will make you reflect on just what it is that makes urban space work. Plus you will see what claims to be the UK’s first roundabout, constructed in 1909.

England - Central England - Hertfordshire - Town or city

Features

Cafe, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Wheelchairs, Mostly Flat, Museum, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Tea Shop, Toilets

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