Garden city vs Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City: a comparison

Garden city vs Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City: a comparison

Monica Cirstea, Romanian architect and author of the blog Dreams of an Architect, a few years ago wrote an article comparing the garden city idea with Frank Lloyd Wrights design of Broadacre City.

In 1935 Frank Lloyd Wright first exhibited a large model (3,66 by 3,66 meter) and ten collateral models of Broadacre City at the National Alliance of Arts and Industry Exposition at Rockefeller Center. Wright's concept for a future city had first appeared in his book The Disappearing City in 1932. It – like Ebenezer Howard’s garden city – was a reaction against the polluted, overcrowded industrial cities.

13477878023 30a50d139d cThe Broadacre City model at MoMA, New York (Shinya Suzuki/Flickr, 2014)

The article Broadacre City vs. Garden City – a comparison between two urban proposals touches upon the obvious similarities between the ideas of Wright and Howard (low density of buildings, integrated large areas of vegetation, the role of new means of transport), but also the differences (spontaneous vs planned, decentralised vs centralised, grid vs circular layout, cars (and airplanes!) vs trains). A fascinating starting point for further reading!

Further reading:

Revisiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision for “Broadacre City” and Reading Broadacre at Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Decentralization Integration: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City at Urban Utopias

X urban cities: Broadacre City at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

'The Disappearing City', in Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright Collected Writings, volume 3: 1931-39. (Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., New York City, 1993).