Ankara (1929-35)- Theoretical Influences & Planning Principles- Part 2: Ebenezer Howard’s & Theodor Fritsch’s Garden City Proposals & their influence on initial Ankara’s Plan
While taking the ‘Picturesque’ Streetscape and Public space design principle from Sitte, the initial urban planning of Ankara has learnt much from the Garden City moment, initiated by the two pioneers: Ebenezer Howard and Theodor Fritsch.
In Howard’s Proposal from ‘Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform’ (1898) and ‘Garden Cities of Tomorrow’ (1902), a large scale urban proposal has been brought up, consisting of the central city with a population of 58000, and few settlements, known as Garden Cities, with a population of 32000, and were connected by a transit railway system. Howard’s ideal aimed to combine the elements of town with country area, creating self-reliant communities with independent economic, administrative, cultural and mechanical systems.
Garden cities were defined into different zones. Circular garden, surrounded by public buildings, was located in central core of the garden city, and for the second layer was the central park. Residential area has applied a radial gridiron layout, locating between the park and Grand Avenue. As for other facilities, like factories, warehouses, dairies, markets, etc. were located between the Avenue and the outer ring.
As for Fritsch’s proposal, it was considered as an organic hybrid between older center of an existing urban context and additional suburbs by building parallel strips radiating outward that enable unlimited expansion of the scheme (Bachelor, 1969). In the core, monuments and monumental public buildings were place at the center, while residential areas were located between monumental public buildings and the outer ring was occupied by programs like factories, court house, stock exchange building and farms.
From these schemes, attitude of Howard and Fritsch toward creation of community, public space, nature landscape and transportation has been revealed.
For the residential area, in Howard’s proposal, the city has divided into six equal wards by the boulevards. Howard respected the equality of human being, and consequently in his proposal communities and public space, like Grand Avenue, were hybrid zones for different social classes to interaction and enjoy the utilities provided to people. From a Germany background, Fritsch has shared a more racist perspective and developed a hierarchy of residential sections varied from villa for the rich and small houses for the workers. In his proposals for city development, a gradient from highly urbanized district to suburbs area has been observed, where high social class would gain the right to live in the city central and factories, utilities, working class and farmers were located at fragile of the plan.
In garden city ideology, aiming to bonded urban life with the pleasure of environment, green belt was usually referenced as the public space for the community. In order to preserve accessibility of nature for city dwellers, scale of community was carefully managed. In Howard’s proposal, greenery was planned in central park, Grand Avenue and outer ring zones, surrounding communities in ring form. As for Fritsch’s plan, as urban fibers were built as parallel land-use strips radiating out from city center. Hence, triangular sections of garden and greenery has been placed between strips.
For the transportation, in Howard’s proposal, transportation between different rings were undermined by the green belt ring separating urban fibers, and transition between zones were highly dependent to the boulevards. As for Fritsch’s plan, as city were developed into different strips containing a number of social groups within, each of which was a well-connected community between various classes. However, the connectivity between strips, especially for the lower social class at urban fragile, had a low connectivity between with strips.
Influenced by these ideologies, the organization of Ankara has shown traces of these considerations.
The gridiron layout of Ankara has shown clean references to Howard’s plan, where the city was divided into different sections by boulevards radiating out from center park. Yet, unlike Howard, Hermann has decided to zones according to social classes, with fine houses at the center of new town, industries, working population and country houses at the fragile of city.
For public space design, Hermann has taken a hybrid form of Howard’s and Fritsch’s idea to create unevenly wide rings of green belts to surround each district. From Hermann’s initial plan for residential area in the new town, he has shown consideration in scale and accessibility of community to nature. In a street scale, greenery was planned along street, where residents were able to enjoy the nature within city, while in urban scale, city dwellers appreciated the environment of suburb in the green belts.
For the transportation between districts, proposal of Ankara was planned to be connected districts by a railway system. With uneven width of green belt in Ankara, districts, like industrial classes and factories, were separated from others, while residential districts were well connected to districts like old town and commercial area. It has shown specific improvement to withdraws of Garden city proposal, where Howard’s green belts separated all districts and Fritsch’s divided each urban strip into individual entity. Hermann’s manipulation of green belt showed a controlled transition between different groups.
Duygu SABAN ÖKESLİ, ‘HERMANN JANSEN’S PLANNING PRINCIPLES AND HIS URBAN LEGACY IN ADANA’, METU JFA, Volume 2, 2009
Ebenezer Howard, Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform,1898
Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of Tomorrow, 1902
Theodor Fritsch, Die Stadt der Zukunft (The City of the Future), 1887