The contrast of the Garden City and the Radiant City
(Final world: 2995)
Student ID: H00163447
Name: ZHAOYUE XUE
The question of how to create sustainable cities and communities was raised recently.
It is clear that the housing crisis is having a desperate impact on British people's lives.
It is also clear that the next government will have to face an acute economic and
environmental crisis. So how do we offer both hope and practical solutions to build
the kind of sustainable places we need for the future? Social sustainability is a way of
thinking about what people need to live and work together. 'It takes on meaning
within different political ideologies and programmers underpinned by different kinds
of knowledge, values and philosophy' (Huckle, 1996). Basically, there are two views.
Ebenezer Howard's Garden City concept is often referred to as Utopian; the
underlying principles have proven to be both practical and widely applicable. Another
one is Le Corbusier's perspective which is thinking about the modernist ideal city.
This essay will emphasize on comparison of Brasilia and Canberra cities. Despite
analyzing the concrete differences of these two cities, the essay attached great
importance to the differences of them in the issue of social sustainable from the aspect
of liability, social support and place marketing. Lastly, the prospects of the two types
of cities will be put forward in the essay. Based on the principle of collective
sustainable, the prospects also conformed to the traits of two types of cities.
The analysis of the socially sustainable
Raised by the international human environment seminar in1972, the socially
sustainable was a significant and radical concept that once seemed as the principle of
the mod of the development all over the world. Not only did it cover a wide scope of
both the region and global, but also it involved in many fields, such as the economy,
society and resource usage (Leask, 2011).
Defined as a radical principle of a mode of developmental mode, the social
sustainable could be analyzed from three concrete aspects. The livability, social
support and place making were included. First of all, the livability was a vital
evaluation criterion of social sustainable. Livability was a product of the late
industrialization that used to describe the cities that have favorable space environment
as well as the humanity social environment. Aimed at protecting the real rights for the
human, livability attached importance to the living environment and the sustainable
development of both the ontology and the society. Spontaneously, the livability was a
significant part of the social sustainable development of a city for the reason that what
it emphasized on was the principle of human rights first, which was the radical
process of the social sustainable. Moreover, the social support was an essential and
indispensable portion of the social sustainable of the cities. This issue was divided
into two aspects, and there were the personal level and the public level. As for the
personal level, certain social insurances as well as the sustainability of people were
included. As was widely acknowledged, the authentic aim of the society was the
man’s all-round development. Correspondingly, it isn’t until the realization of
individual sustainable development that the social sustainable development will be
achieved for the reason that individual development was the ultimate goal as well as
indispensable portion of the social sustainable development. As for the social
infrastructure, the supporting social infrastructure made contributions to the social
sustainable for the reason that it could provided services and conveniences for the
citizens. What is more, the place making was also a key part of the social sustainable.
On one hand, the urban planning aimed at researching the future development of
urban and organizing the layout and developmental process of the cities. The
reasonable and organized place making of a city was beneficial to the current
development and future involution of the cities, which resulted in the social
sustainable of a city directly. On the other hand, by dividing the regional function
reasonably and systematically, the place making of urban assisted urban to realize its
impact for a long time. According to a famous city planning Professor Ford,
reasonable and scientific place making could be considered as an arrangement of the
long-range of the city, making immeasurable impacts on the social sustainable.
The analysis of the concept of the radiant city
Put forwarded by Le Corbusier primitively in 1931, the radiant city was a classical
scheme of the mode of city development. As analyzed by the theory from a
prestigious city expert Noble, R, the “radiant” so called surpassed the traditional
connotation of the actual functions of cities with the remarkable trait of awareness
(Le, 1923). Instead of following the original developmental mode that emphasized on
the industrialization simply, the radiant city raised by Le Corbusier attempted to
overcome the malady brought by the industrialization. Furthermore, not only did the
radiant city claimed the significance of mutual tolerance of modern buildings and the
nature with certain harmonic way, but also the radiant city emphasized on the artistic
charm of the city and its buildings (Douglas, 2010). To attain this purpose, there were
five principles. To begin with, it was the specific functional partition. It was the basis
point of the theory for the reason that it provided the approach for the implement of
the later points. Then, to lower the density of the cities, the theory also suggested that
certain high-rise buildings should be build in the central part of the cities and more
greenbelts should be reserved so as to improve the ecology of the cities. Furthermore,
the underlying should be empty and the ground should be open to various functions,
enlarging the transparency of sight. Differed from the previous design concepts, it
enhanced the practical areas of certain ground (Thomas, 2011). Later, instead of
building traditional roads, it advocated constructing board roads, realizing the
separation of pedestrian and vehicles. Lastly, a residential unit of small-town was
advocated for the reason that it assisted the residents to enlarge their living space and
improve their psychological development. In general, the radiant city was a classical
mode of city that could improve the development of the city as well as improving the
The analysis of the garden city
The idea of the garden city that put forward by Ebenezer Howard aimed at mixing the
countryside and the urban (Ebenezer, 1902). According to the concrete planning from
the theory of Ebenezer Howard, the garden city should be surrounded by the forest
land and farming forest (Bush, 1999). Wholly, the garden city was designed to be a
city for living, comprehensive development of the city. Most importantly, the scale of
such cities should be capable to support the normal operation of the cities with the
limited range. To ensure the equality and the principle of human-oriented, the
construction of these cities were conducted by the citizens collectively while the
ownership and appreciation should belong to the residents collectively. In general, the
garden city enabled the countryside to integrate into the city center. In the meantime,
the city could also improve the development of countryside in an ecological way.
Comparison of two theories
To analyze the garden city from Ebenezer Howard and radiant city from Le Corbusier,
the comparison of these two theories will be made. From the side of livability, both of
them attached importance to the peace and sanitation of the environment, making
painstaking efforts to guaranteeing the cozy living environment. However, compared
with the radiant city, the garden city was more livable and comfortable for the
following reasons. The form of buildings and the city layout of the garden city were
livable and cozy with the comparison of the radiant city. The garden city aimed at
breaking the boundaries of countryside and city, integrating the pastoral scenery into
the urban while the radiant city aimed at improving the rate of accommodation by
building modern facilities. When it comes to social support, with reasonable and
predictable project, the garden city was succeeded in both the social aspect and
resource aspect. Socially, the garden city provided enough economic security for its
citizens by giving the usufruct to its citizens, which also involved into comprehensive
guarantee of their rights (Harris, 2000). Naturally, as the design of garden city was the
mixture of peripheral countryside and the central city, the resource of the city was
sufficient and the countryside also has enough motivation to its development. On the
contrary, although the radiant city was capable to provide enough living space for the
citizens, it lacked enough humanity as well as ignoring the sustainability of social
facilities for the reason that this mode of design would encounter challenges brought
by the developed society in later times. Lastly, the issue of place making could be
taken into specialized consideration. From the dimension of the garden city,
obviously, the urban land was surrounded by the countryside land. Not only could it
provide sufficient food supply and gave a cozy living environment for the citizens, but
also the economic development of the countryside should be also attributed to it
largely. Inversely, as for the Radiant city, although the place making of it was divided
systemically and reasonably, it lacked tight relationship with surrounding regions,
which resulted in the independence of the city. Furthermore, the gather of buildings
would also destroy the integrity and harmony of the city (Green, 2012).
To analyze this topic further practically and authentically, the Brasilia and Canberra
will be analyzed as cases of the radiant city and the garden city respectively.
Widely acknowledged as the typical case of the radiant city, the Brasilia was divided
into three main functional areas. There were the new urban, old area and the working-
class residential zone (Adams, 2010). With the overall shape of a plane roughly, the
Brasilia was planned regularly and neatly. The functional areas of it were obvious and
evident. Not only did the buildings and iconic constructions were designed in the
center of the city, but also the artificial green construction was designed in the round
of the new constructions. When it comes to the connecting passages of the central part
and the neighboring regions, the Brasilia build modern convenient highways to
connect the above regions. Especially, the Brasilia of the radiant city should be
analyzed from the perspective of social sustainable. Wholly, the Brasilia made certain
efforts to create the social sustainable development of the city, however, it ignored the
ecological harmony and everlasting development of the city largely. To begin with,
from the view of livability, the Brasilia attached sufficient and considerable
importance to the urban environmental protection and the basic infrastructure for
individual all-round development of citizens with stable economic development. As
indicated by the remarkable city analysts Thomas, E, “As shown by the authentic fact,
the greening coverage of Brasilia reached up to more than 40% and its economic
development served as a powerful motivation to the comprehensive strength of it. It
was obvious that the Brasilia devoted to the construction of environmental protection
and balance of development.” Consequently, the Brasilia made efforts to the livability
of the city to some extent undoubtedly. However, the isolation and mechanized layout
may cut down the livability. In spite of lowering the density and enhancing the
environmental protection, the Brasilia aimed more at the economic development
instead of the livability from the side of human-oriented (Rubin, 2013). Moreover,
when it comes to the aspect of social support, the Brasilia made certain efforts while
having some deficiency. By dividing the city reasonably with functional areas, the
Brasilia provided enough social support for its residents. On one hand, various
infrastructures were given. To satisfy various demands of the residents from different
fields, the Brasilia arranged various basic installations, such as the activity space and
cultural sites to complete the social support from the side of hardware. On the other
hand, as a typical case of the radiant city, the Brasilia also improved the social
guarantee of the citizens. Because the radiant city emphasized on the comprehensive
management of the city and humanity concern, the social support was also improved
from the spiritual level. Last but not least, from the perspective of place making, the
Brasilia was arranged with the guidance of the principle of the Radiant city. As a
result, the design of the Brasilia demonstrated the reasonable combination mode of it,
which showed the social sustainable development as well as enlarging the ultimate
accommodation of the city (Dickens, 2011). Here is a panoramic view of the Brasilia
from The theory of the Radiant city, which showed the whole actual effect of the
radiant city. Evidently, the Brasilia was designed to be neat and regular. In the central
part of the urban, it was a huge green infrastructure. Later, several modern buildings
were arranged on the two sides of the city. Indicated by the picture, the Brasilia
showed the concept of zoning plan obviously and also emphasized on the ecological
system of the city to some extent.
Otherwise, the Canberra will be analyzed as the representative case of the garden city.
Highly referred as the natural capital, the Canberra was designed with the shape of the
mixture of cyclic annular and radial organically. Instead of building artificial green
landscape without coordination, the Canberra fused the countryside into the central
urban, creating a harmonious and promising environment (William, 2012). Most
importantly, the Canberra abandoned the old concept that considered the park as
ornament of the city and integrating the living places as well as the urban public
facilities into the natural vegetation directly, which made effective and immeasurable
contributions to enhancing the social sustainable of this city (Smith, 2012).
Furthermore, from the view of livability, the Canberra received remarkable
achievement. With the essential spirit of garden city, the Canberra was succeeded in
breaking down the obvious boundaries of the countryside and central urban, which
resulted in the ecology of urban landscape. Take the site selection of the parliament of
Australia and the economic center of the Canberra as persuading examples, the
parliament of Australia was sited in the edge of countryside where owned a wide hills
and charming lakes. In the meantime, the economic center of it also located beside the
sea, enabling it to be full of marine of breath. Generally, in spite of accomplishing
remarkable green construction, the Canberra also infused the significant functional
areas into the countryside, creating an effect of garden city (Curie, 2005). What’ more,
as for the social support, as the characteristics of the city layout, it was quite possible
for the farms and breeding sites to be close to the urban. It was this trait that made
considerable contributions to guarantee the material supply for the city. At the same
time, the mixture of countryside and urban also promote the development of the
countryside ecologically with the precondition of safeguarding the natural of this
areas. Obviously, the land allocation was also aimed at protecting the social support of
the citizens. Not only did it enable nearly equal opportunities for the development of
its residents, but also it pioneered the principle of offering the land usufruct to the
citizens. Both of the measures were capable to ensure the social support of this city
with the principle of comprehensive social sustainable. In final, the place making of
the Canberra could also be considered as a radical issue. It was easy to discover the
fact that the city layout of Canberra emphasized on the harmony and naturalness. With
an entire allocation of striation and flexible mixture, the place making of the Canberra
demonstrates the core principle of natural and ecology. Here were certain typical
instances, instead of dividing the city landscape with level, the Canberra arranged the
various urban functional areas closely with the countryside or the city gardens in
phase. In general, the Canberra manifested the essential principle of social sustainable
as well as enjoying the high reputation of international garden city (Byron, 2003).
Here is certain a pictures of the Canberra that showed the charming effect of this
representative garden city.
Source of: http://image.baidu.com/i?word=Canberra&tn=baiduimage&ct=201326592&cl
The picture on the left was the authentic scenery of the Griffin Lake. Differed from
the artificial Lake of the radiant cities and other cities, the Griffin Lake in Canberra
was embedded into the central urban of Canberra. As it is near to the residential, it is
convenient for the citizens to relax and enjoy leisure lives. Moreover, because the
Griffin Lake in the Canberra combined the tourism industry wit the breeding industry,
it makes direct contributions to the comprehensive economy of the urban and the
supply of necessities of the urban. As for the picture on the right, it demonstrates the
overall place making if the Canberra. Wholly, the Canberra showed the mixture of
countryside of urban. By creating the ecological and natural scenes in the urban, the
Canberra is capable to manifest the inner concept of garden city.
The essay made analysis of the social sustainable of the radiant city and the garden
city with the practical cases of the Brasilia and Canberra respectively. The issues of
social sustainable, radiant city and the garden city were analyzed with certain citations
firstly. Later, the comparison of these two types of cities was made. Not only were
their characteristics analyzed with certain instances, but also they also analyzed under
the topic of social sustainable with comparison. Last but not least, the Brasilia and the
Canberra were taken as cases of this issue. Generally, the garden city was more social
sustainable than the radiant city for the reason that it was able to demonstrate the
principle of nature and humanity. However, the types of cities not only decided by the
concrete situation of the city, but also it should be largely attributed to the
developmental stages of the city. It was undoubted and evident that the garden city
was more social sustainable than the radiant city, which has promising prosperity than
another one. And the design of garden city could also be set as model for the cities
that encountered developmental bottleneck with other modes of city.
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