Amsterdam School Museum The Ship (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is organizing an extensive international program on garden cities in the following years. This will result in a variety of projects, research, publications and excursions, leading up to an international congress and large exhibition in 2024.
All around the world we find cities, -villages and -neighbourhoods based on the idea of the garden city. The Netherlands alone already has several hundred. Since the end of the nineteenth century, and even before that, these green oases formed the antidote to the detrimental living conditions in larger cities. Although garden cities took many forms and its ideals were interpreted in many ways, leading ambitions were a good design based in a green environment, strong community engagement and cooperative modes of management of land, houses and/or shared facilities.
An important figure for stimulating the discussion on garden cities was social reformer Ebenezer Howard. He articulated the garden city for the first time in his influential book Garden Cities of To-morrow (1902) as a marriage between city and countryside, the garden city being best of both worlds. Howard also founded the Town and Country Planning Association, a large association with many prominent members. Together with other initiatives (for example the Deutsche Gartenstadt-Gesellschaft) they promoted these ideas of garden cities, allowing us to find these ideas all around the world.
Hilversum is one of the largest garden cities in the Netherlands, where municipal architect W.M. Dudok transformed the city into a cohesive garden city. Ideals of the garden city are also found abundantly in the city of Amsterdam. Many good workers’ houses were built in the Spaarndammerbuurt and in the boroughs of Amsterdam South and West. Amsterdam also consists of actual garden villages like Betondorp in Watergraafsmeer and multiple villages in the North side of Amsterdam. Tuindorp Oostzaan has beautiful workers’ houses built in the Amsterdam School style. The design of the post-war Westelijke Tuinsteden (a large high-density residential area on the west-side of Amsterdam) made by urban planner Cornelis Van Eesteren is also based on garden city principles.
Program and call for partners
Nowadays the garden city ideals are more relevant than ever because they are key in debates on the present and future of ecological and social-sustainable cities. The foundation of new housing cooperation's experimenting with new forms of communal living and the urgency for urban greenery and sustainability are important themes in debates on public housing.
Amsterdam School Museum The Ship (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is organizing an extensive international program on garden cities in the following years. Together with national and international partners we will research the origin and development of garden cities and its actual values in the following years. This will result in a variety of projects, leading up to an international congress and large exhibition in 2024. We will also establish a large network of garden city with its residents, municipalities, architects, visitor centres and historical-, heritage- and other societies.