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Sharon’s Blog is about how a concept of “Garden City” work in Neighborhood design and she has also mentioned five principles of a good neighborhood design. which are, a radius of walking distance of 400m, clear center, identifiable edges, street pattern and diversity of buildings and people. She has well explained Ebenezer Howard’s town-country magnet concept. Here in this blog, I will talk about how feasible is the garden city concept.

Original Concept

In 1898 Sir Ebenezer Howard proposed the concept of”garden city” which has all the positive features of both town and a country. This model city is self-sufficient in terms of its economy and natural resources and meant to be home for 32,000 inhabitants. In terms of neighborhood design principles, A garden city also has a distinctive center with all important civic buildings and green belts as neighborhood boundaries. And this model is also very much similar to today’s Transit Oriented Development model. In which all the district centers are connected with an efficient public transport system.

Figure 1: Garden City Concept Layout from Town-Country Magnet

How Successful is this Concept in a 21st century?

  • Due to rapidly growing population and an economy crisis in many countries, new housing schemes must be affordable and should not be of low density as the limited supply of a brown-field. garden city concept in 21st century asks for a vast chunk of land to provide houses against a big demand of the population. So that rather than applying it as it originally was, it can be a part of modified solution.
  • Garden cities in china having skyscrapers don’t do any justice to human scale development and may also lead to distorted social interactions between people. In highly populated areas with low availability of land, going vertical seems the only option. That is why a new concept of vertical cities is emerging which is actually a garden city in a vertical axis.
    Figure 2: An Artist’s Impression of Tianfu Garden City, China for 2M inhabitants
    Figure 3: “Lattice City” vertical Garden City concept Singapore



For designing a good neighborhood with the demand of 21st century we have to mix several models from the past as a solution. Most of the conceptual ideal city models were created in the time of industrialization. but the time has changed and demand as well. Retaining the social and cultural essence of a neighborhood for the future generations is the most important thing to keep in mind while designing.

References :

The Academy of Urbanism –

The Guardian (2014) –

web Urbanist –


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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

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