2:00 PM September 7, 2022
In his regular Hertfordshire heritage column, Andrew Rylah, of Codicote Local History Society, looks at the life of Ebenezer Howard.
Looking around Codicote, I see lots of fields earmarked for housing development. This is something that causes much heated debate.
How will the beauty and character of our village change? Can Codicote cope without an improvement to its infrastructure?
Increased congestion is going to happen, especially if large numbers of houses are shoehorned into tiny plots.
But I can also see that we need more affordable housing to cater for a growing population. Too many people have been priced out of the housing market over years.
This got me thinking of the early 20th century innovative movements to support developments, but in ways that brought housing, space and attractiveness to town centres.
Back in 1898, Ebenezer Howard, an urban planner, published a highly influential book ‘To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform’, revised in 1902 to ‘Garden Cities of To-Morrow’.
This book distilled Howard’s thoughts on how places could combine the best of cities and the countryside.
It was highly influential and became the catalyst for the Garden City movement.
Howard’s book addressed a key question ‘Where will people go?’, a question just as relevant today.
He developed his ‘Three Magnets’ concept: town, country and town-country. This concept balanced individual and community needs, and offered a utopian vision of people living in harmony with