Letchworth Garden City, England

Letchworth Garden City is the first Garden City in the world, designed to incorporate elements of country living in an urban setting. It is located in Hertfordshire, England. Commonly known simply as Letchworth, it was the prototype that inspired another Garden City, the Welwyn Garden City. Today Letchworth has a population of some 33,600 people (2012 estimate).

More on Letchworth Garden City

Letchworth was the brainchild of social reformer Ebenezer Howard, who in 1898 wrote

Garden Cities of Tomorrow, advocating a new type of town that pulls together the benefits of city and country living, while eliminating the disadvantages of both.

Among the elements of the design includes the zoning of industrial and residential precincts, and the incorporation of trees and open spaces in the design. While his ideas were ridiculed by the press, it found a following among the Quakers and members of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Howard’s concept of Garden City is one that is built within a belt of open countryside. In addition to urban planning, Howard’s book outlined a system for community management, some of which remained unfulfilled in Letchworth and later immitators.

Visiting Letchworth Garden City

From London, head north on the A1(M) motorway until Exit 9 and then continue northwest on the A505 to reach Letchworth Garden City.

Sights & Attractions to visit in Letchworth Garden City

  1. First Garden City Heritage Museum
    Museum providing an insight into the ideals that led to the founding of Letchworth.

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