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Ebenezer Howard: To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, 1898
The Garden Cities were underpinned by a famously strong vision developed by the TCPA’s founder, Ebenezer Howard, who in his seminal text of 1898, To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, described how ’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’.
At the heart of the Garden City ideals is the development of holistically planned new settlements which enhance the natural environment and provide high-quality affordable housing and locally accessible jobs in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities. The Garden Cities were among the first manifestations of sustainable developments. Key Garden City principles include:
Over the last century the garden city ideals have proven to be outstandingly durable. Today, we still face the primary challenges confronted by Howard and his followers: meeting our housing shortage, generating jobs and creating beautiful and inclusive places. However, we have also the new challenges of globalised markets and the urgent need to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
New settlements provide the opportunity and the economies of scale to truly fulfill the ambitions of sustainable development by delivering multiple benefits including social housing, zero carbon design, sustainable transport and local food sourcing. New communities also offer a powerful prospect to put in place new governance structures that put people at the heart of developing new communities and owning community assets.