What is a Garden City?
A garden city is a sustainable urban landscape that has net profit in terms of energy consumption and quality of life - its an 'eco-city'. A garden is an environment designed with consideration of environmental impact, and inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution - CO2, methane, and water pollution. A man named Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book, Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future.
Where was the first Garden City?
You could make an argument that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was history's first living 'garden city' as many accounts of this historic Wonder of the Ancient World chronicle its man-made stone structures and irrigation systems. But history is unclear as to how much produce was harvested or what exactly was grown in this urban garden.
The first modern thinker to concieve the possibility of living in a garden city was Sir Ebenezer Howard who wrote a book called Garden Cities of To-morrow at the turn of the 20th century. This book, which was first entitled To-morrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform in 1898, was reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-morrow and was a rather provocative publication that eventually brought fame and a knighthood to its author. The book changed the way urban planners concieve cities and Ebenezer Howard got the knighthood after he went around England for the next twenty years raising money to make model communities wherein he succeeded in doing things differently. His work forever influenced how cities came to be laid out and organized in the modern age.
Fuel Ghoul's Vision of Toronto as a Garden City Includes,
1. Fruit trees line the city streets and are planted in the center of urban thoroughfares. A community based initive exists to gather the public into a weekend fruit picking force in August and volunteers tend the trees throughout the year.
Toronto has Not Far From The Tree fruit harvesting program which rallies volunteers to tend the fruit trees that do exist in backyards and in some public , but not many public spaces,
2. Community livestock is pastured in public areas and tended to in animal husbandry programs including milking, breeding, shearing, delousing, calving and dehorning by animal specialists.
3. Soil recycling programs make cheap top soil available to residents and community gardeners - today its possible to buy a big bag of soil for residential use from vegetable compost recyling programs and have it inexpensively delivered right to your home or job site. This faciltates the rapid planting and reshaping of urban landscapes.
4. Community vegetable plots are leased to passionate urban farmers and weekend gardeners get smaller holdings which are grouped according to tenders, food type and harvest period and associated festivals.
Toronto has High Park Gardens and Leslie Spit Garden Plots and Riverdale Farm is a small farm with livestock right in the middle of the city.
5. Green rooftops and efficient architecture including but not limited to LEED certified buildings
6. Mobile apps and modern cloud computing are the two most important ingredients and make it possible for the public to become better stewarts of the land. Their increased vigilience reduces demands on paid staff, city workers and specialists.
The Garden City Movement is a shared vision for a sustainable future
Ebenezer advocated for garden cities to be planned and created as self-contained communities surrounded by green food growing areas, containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture.
Surrounding the garden city would be a greenbelt measuring about 4,000 acres in size. Within this area Howard proposed the development of facilities such as farms, hospitals, convalescent homes, and agricultural schools, for example. The greenbelt would also act as a growth boundary for the garden city, which would thus eliminate the risk of urban sprawl.
Today most large cities contain large parks where it is possible to disappear in nature. To make this possible there's a lot of considerations including human and wildlfie, floral and fauna.