Go to the TCPA homepage

If you're not a
member already –
you really should be! Read more about member benefits

Garden Cities

Garden City Principles

“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”

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:

  • land value capture for the benefit of the community;
  • strong vision, leadership and community engagement;
  • community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets;
  • mixed-tenure homes and housing types that are affordable for ordinary people;
  • a strong local jobs offer in the Garden City itself, with a variety of employment opportunities within easy commuting distance of homes;
  • Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes with gardens, combining the very best of town and country living to create healthy homes in vibrant communities;
  • generous green space linked to the wider natural environment, including a surrounding belt of countryside to prevent sprawl, well connected and biodiversity rich public parks, and  a mix of public and private networks of well managed, high-quality gardens, tree-lined streets and open spaces;
  • opportunities for residents to grow their own food, including generous allotments;
  • strong local cultural, recreational and shopping facilities in walkable neighbourhoods; and
  • integrated and accessible transport systems – with a series of settlements linked by rapid transport providing a full range of employment opportunities (as set out in Howard’s vision of the ‘Social City’).

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.

Download further details on the Garden City Principles here.

Shopping basket

Your basket contains:

  • Items: 0
  • Sub Total: £0.00
View basket