Nature and Nature’s God: The Religious Background of the Garden City Movement

Lee Hardy


Is the discipline of urban planning a religiously neutral affair? If the English Garden City movement is to serve as a worthy example of this discipline, certainly not. After noting its considerable influence on American New Urbanism, Lee Hardy explores in this essay the religious motivation of the Garden City movement through the figure of its founder, Ebenezer Howard. The exploration takes place on three levels: the physical design of urban form; the socioeconomics of collective land ownership; and the religious hope of human transformation, which draws upon the cultural strategies typical of separatist Christian communities and the metaphysics of American Spiritualism. Mr. Hardy is professor of philosophy at Calvin College.


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