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The craftsman
Vol. XVII, Number 3 (December 1909)

Stickley, Gustav
Rapid growth of the garden city movement, which promises to reorganize social conditions all over the world,   pp. 296-310 PDF (5.4 MB)


Page 301


    GROWTH OF THE GARDEN CITY MOVEMENT
    The vision of this ideal community has been given to many, and
each has given it to the world in the form in which it appeared to him.
Until the beginning of the nineteenth century, men for the most part
contented themselves with writing philosophical treatises upon the
Utopia that might be if it were only possible to regenerate human
nature. But the nineteenth century, going a step further, sought to
make practical application of such theories, either in the form of
communities which lived apart from the world and were ruled abso-
lutely by the will of the founder, or by experiments in various forms
of philanthropic industrialism, like that of Robert Owen. Later,
within the past decade or so, have come the model factories with
model villages attached; the blocks of model tenements which in
many cities have replaced the worst of the old slums; all sorts of or-
ganizations, on a more or less scientific basis, for the amelioration of
poverty and wretchedness, and, side by side with these, a widespread
effort toward civic improvement. In a haphazard sort of way we
have realized this and have been encouraged and gratified by it.
Nevertheless, in spite of all that has been done, the whole movement
so far has seemed to be held in solution, as it were, and the difficulties
incident to the established order have been intensified.
   Yet, in spite of all discouragement, the movement toward a general
reform has gone steadily on. All over the world we hear of plans
to reorganize great cities with a view to abolishing slums and afford-
ing healthier conditions of life for all the citizens and especially
for the poorer classes; shrewd business men, the heads of great com-
mercial or industrial organizations, have seen that their best policy
lay in providing their workers with healthful and comfortable sur-
roundings, and the movement to restore agriculture to its old-time
dignity and prosperity and so induce people to remain on the land
instead of crowding into the already overcrowded cities has been
energetically furthered in all the countries of Europe and even in
America. So, step by step, all efforts toward social and industrial
reorganization have been tending toward the goal which all, by com-
mon consent, have established as a starting point from which must
gradually grow a new and better order of things,-namely, the creation
of an environment that will make possible the healthy development
of the coming generation.
   The need for such a starting point has unquestionably been met
by the garden city movement, which already has taken firm hold in
England, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand
and even Central America, to say nothing of the tentative experi-
ments along similar lines in the United States. Under various names
certain phases of this movement have been the subject of experi-
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