Welwyn Garden City by Ebenezer Howard | History, Concept & Population

Welwyn Garden City –  A Brief History

The industrial revolution in the 1800s left an indelible mark on the 1900 aftermath of the revolution. People in England suffered from many diseases and infections that were caused by the factory smog. This was also a result of poor city planning, consequently leading to many deaths with Typhoid and Cholera. The poor housing structures in the cities of England, particularly London, had a terrible consequence for many people around the country. This experience was an impetus for Sir Ebenezer Howard to construct the Garden City Concept. This lead to two important garden cities, namely Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City. Howard said that his main aim through these two garden cities were to provide better health and security for the people of England. According to him, Welwyn Garden City was “a town designed for healthy living and industry of a size that makes possible a full measure of social life but not larger, surrounded by a rural belt; the whole of the land being in public ownership, or held in trust for the community.”

Welwyn Garden City - The Shredded Wheat Factory

Read About: City Branding

Who managed the city 

For the Welwyn Garden City, in Hertfordshire, a company called Welwyn Garden City Limited was formed to manage the Garden City. The town has wide boulevards with many greeneries and trees, one of the first of its kind in promoting a tree-lined community. The Garden City was a community with many houses, promoting residents to use the gardens and convenient facilities such as stores which were all built in the town center.  With the high-quality houses, the architects ensured that the residents had fresh air and a quality living providing a better quality of life in comparison to the infested housing in the Industrial Revolution. The residents complimented the architecture and facilities found in Welwyn Garden City.

In 1948, Welwyn Garden City was given the title of a new town and was consequently owned by the Welwyn Garden City Development. Since the 1900s when Welwyn Garden City was first constructed, it has risen in population, becoming more popular by the decade to this day. This can be seen in the population of the Garden City which was 46,619 in 2011 and has increased to 51,735 in 2017. It is also an expensive town, with largely detached cottages costing approximately £400,000-£775,000. An argument against the town is that it is not affordable for most people in England and mostly the wealthy people with a good income can live in Welwyn Garden City.

Welwyn Garden City - Cinema & Library

How things changed overtime and moving forward

Welwyn Garden City has also attracted many commercial enterprises and provided employment for the residents. It is also part of the trading and investment in the stock market which has enormously increased its prices and the residential quality. There are more than 30 highly acclaimed industries and businesses that are profitable in the Welwyn Garden City. There are convenient transit routes around the city that gives people to travel to and fro from their homes. This includes buses and railway stations around the city. There are also many activities and concerts played on a regular basis that lets people explore the city.  For instance, a resident has expressed in a Guardian City article “I love our local arts center, Campus West. Thriving cinema, a theatre with festivals and live music. We’re surrounded by beautiful countryside.”

Read About – What Makes a City Great!

Welwyn Garden City is also convenient for families to live in Welwyn because there are many schools in the neighbourhoods that are occupied by many children living in the city. Tourists have also increased through the years and Sir Ebenezer Howard’s model of Welwyn Garden City has become very famous. Its location on the northern periphery of London makes it very convenient for residents and tourists to travel back and forth. Many residents travel and work in London as it is only 23 miles away. Residents are drawn toward Welwyn Garden City because they feel it gives them both a city and country life but away from the hustle and bustle of a major city such as London. This indicates that England has come a long way and improved drastically in its quality of living from the horrors of Industrial Revolution.

Welwyn Garden City The Parkway Fountain

Therefore, the Welwyn Garden City has outgrown the expectation of Sir Ebenezer Howard when he first initiated the idea. For many years, it has still survived and is a booming town still attracting residents of all kinds. It reminds people of a city that has the charm of a countryside. Its amenities are very good & provide a convenient location in England for people to travel, known to provide “a taste of utopia.”

Read About: Aerotropolis – The New Emerging Urban Form