Ideal Cities of Howard, Wright and Le Corbusier

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Data:02.07.2007
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IDEAL CITIES
Howard, Wright and Le Corbusier were strongly impressed by recent technological advances. Their writings were filled with the image of the city as a living organism, a city that can always be changed or up-to-date with new technologies.
Howard’s image of the ideal city was a city where town and country must be married, and his plan was for decentralization and a radical reduction of density, which he believed to be one of the major ills of the city. The green belt, that surrounded the city, would consist of farms and parks; the garden city would contain quiet residential neighbourhoods and area for industrial, commercial and cultural activities. People would be able to live, play and work without having to go elsewhere. The neighbourhoods would be slices in the circular pie of the town, with each comprising a sixth of the population. The basic neighbourhood unit would be the single-family detached house surrounded by a garden. In the middle of a central park, there would be the town hall, museum, library and hospital. Howard proposed a system of rail lines and canals for connections to the other parts of the city.
Wright’s image of the ideal city was the issues of individuality and family. In his model he showed a very decentralized community since he felt even more strongly than Howard about the subject of density. He envisioned a place spread out over a grid system of highways, with everyone having at least one acre of land; families would stay in touch trough sophisticated transportation and communication systems and, above all, by use of car. Broadacre City would be a city without walls, with the freedom of mobility, its plan showed a mix of residential, industrial and agricultural uses of land, and people would move on foot, by cars and by helicopters.
Le Corbusier, a Swiss architect and planner, belief that the key to the ideal city was rather to increase density and centralization even further, he proposed a Radiant City. The solution would be found in the “vertical garden city”: the superblock, the project neighbourhood with as much green and nature as possible, particularly in the form of grass, and high rise in the garden. For connections to every parts of city he proposed a system of highways and tramways radiating from the centre; industries would be located somewhere on the outskirts. The centres of life in the Radiant City were the great residential high rises, these places were meant to be a complete neighborhood and many collective services would be provided.
The work of Howard, Wright and Le Corbusier has offered alternative visions of the city and demanded a re-examination of such central urban issues.
The plan is a rectangular arrangement of streets, but local and traffic are distinctly separated. The large open spaces are treated with informal pedestrian circulation and landscaped. The difference in scale of open space and building coverage is indicated in the plan sketch.

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