Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

"Garden City" (S566: 1899)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A newspaper story featuring a letter from Wallace to Ebenezer Howard, printed on page 38 of the April 1899 issue of Land and Labour. To link directly to this page, connect with:

     Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace has written as follows to Mr. Howard:

     "I am greatly interested by your scheme of building Garden Cities as a means of checking the further growth of our already overgrown and hideous centres of population, and creating more enjoyable opportunities of life for every class of our people.

     "The proposals in your little book, "To-morrow," embody two great features of vital importance. (1) The laying out and building of towns or cities, with every provision for health and enjoyment, with central parks and gardens, grand avenues and wide roads, with an ample area of open country around them, devoted to gardens, fields, meadows and woodlands, but never to be built upon. And (2) the securing that the whole of this land shall after a few years, become the property of the city itself, the rentals of which will probably be more than sufficient for all public purposes, including not only the supply of water and light, but also of free education and free locomotion within the city limits for all.

     "I feel sure that your plans are perfectly practicable, and are calculated to secure, even under existing laws and customs, the maximum of good with the minimum of evil results. In fact it seems to me that the results must be wholly good; and by the multiplication of such cities this good can be brought to our whole population.

     "There is nothing in your proposals that should be distasteful to any sect or political party, and they are therefore calculated to enlist the sympathies and secure the assistance of all. They offer, in particular, an opportunity for benevolent millionaires to apply some of their wealth for the benefit of their fellow-creatures, in a way at once safe, conspicuous and permanent.

     "My earnest wishes are for the success of your scheme, which I hope I may live to see at least partially carried into practice.

     "There are a few details which I think require modification; but this does not prevent my cordial agreement with your general proposals."

     A meeting of the Executive Committee of the L.N.S. was held at the office on March 20th, Mr. A. C. Swinton presiding. After the business had been disposed of, Mr. Howard gave a short lecture on "Garden City" with lantern illustrations. This was followed by discussion. Only a few members apart from the Committee were present, and it is to be regretted that there are not more London members who take advantage of occasional opportunities for meeting at the new office.

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