Ideologies on the Green Corridor Plan (1975): the Garden Cities

The Green Corridor originates from the Civic Square, runs from the far West to the far East and lies along the North-South axis of Ulaanbaatar.[1] It was proposed in the 1970s and traces of it can still be seen nowadays. The concepts of the Green Corridor are serving as an urban green belt to provide open spaces and countercheck urban sprawl.[2] Therefore, the origin of the Green Corridor as a green belt is linked to the Garden Cities, which self-contained communities are surrounded by greenbelts for the same goals, proposed by Ebenezer Howard in the early 20th century according to a research paper published by the National University of Mongolia.[3]

At the time when the Green Corridor Plan was proposed in the 1970s, Ulaanbaatar has already experienced a rapid population growth which is nearly a double from 180,000 in 1960 to 348,700 in 1975.[4] The population growth was due to increasing birth rate, rural to urban migration, concentric economic activities that drew foreign labors, and the urbanization of the city. Consequently, Ulaanbaatar as a relatively small capital city became increasingly congested. In the meantime, the other urbanized cities of Mongolia, for example, Baruun-Urt became much insignificant.[5]

To alleviate the population pressure which was on the way leading to urban sprawl, the Green Corridor was designed in symphony of the Garden Cities. Both make way for metropolitan reconstruction and using municipality to control urban tract. Howard placed factories and warehouses at the edge of the Garden Cities. Meanwhile, the Green Corridor surrounds 70-75km area covering factories at the margin along the Tuul River, and the Peace Avenue and the Narnii Road which are the major transportation infrastructure of the city.[6] Besides, similar with the Grand Avenue in the Garden Cities, the Green Corridor provides circumstances to amenity of urban residents, protection of urban agricultural land, forest, water and wildlife as well as rational utilization of natural resources.[7]

Apart from the similar functionality of the green corridor and the green belt of the Garden Cities, the relationship between the Garden Cities and the Moscow city planning reflected a historical and political tie between the Garden Cities and the Green Corridor Plan. There was debate of urbanism and de-urbanism in post-revolution Russia in the 1920s. The Garden Cities become one of the discussed topics which many of its elements could be spotted in the later town planning by the Moscow government.[8]

Based on the principles of the Three Magnets, Howard combined the town and country in order to provide working class an alternative to either work on farms or at crowded cities.[9] Although the Green Corridor did not suggest such social context, the reasons for the adoption of the green belt and the usage of it have highly echoed with the Garden Cities. The Garden Cities has been influential to the formation of the Ulaanbaatar urban plan in 1970s.

Fig. 1 The Grand Avenue, Central Park and other open spaces from Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow. Source: Garden Cities of To-morrow

Fig. 2 ‘The Three Magnets’ from Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow. Source: Garden Cities of To-morrow

Fig. 3 Ebenezer Howard’s utopian city that control population growth and build self-contain city surrounded by green blet. Source: Garden Cities of To-morrow

 

[1] Sarah Bassett, “Post-Soviet Urbanism in Mongolia,” Polis, accessed December 14, 2010, https://www.thepolisblog.org/2009/06/post-soviet-urbanism-in-mongolia-by.html

[2] Munkhnaran .S, Bazarkhand .TS, Chinbat .B, and Gantulga .G, “Green Belt Zoning for Ulaanbaatar City,” National University of Mongolia, School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography (2013), accessed December 14, 2010, ISSN (Online): 2319-7064

[3] Munkhnaran, Bazarkhand, Chinbat , and Gantulga, “Green Belt Zoning”, Part 1.

[4] Robert L. Worden and Andrea Matles Savada, editors, “Mongolia: A Country Study,” (Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989). Accessed December 14, 2018.  http://countrystudies.us/mongolia/

[5] Munkhnaran, Bazarkhand, Chinbat , and Gantulga, “Green Belt Zoning”, Part 2.

[6] Munkhnaran, Bazarkhand, Chinbat , and Gantulga, “Green Belt Zoning”, Part 3.

[7] “Post-Soviet Urbanism in Mongolia.”

[8] Freddy Kahana, “Neither Village Nor City,” (eBookIt.com, 2015)

[9] Ebenezer Howard, “Garden Cities of To-morrow,” (London: Faber, 1974; original 1898) pp.29-57.

 

Bibliography

Bassett, Sarah. Post-Soviet Urbanism in Mongolia. Polis, June 2, 2010. Accessed December 14, 2010. https://www.thepolisblog.org/2009/06/post-soviet-urbanism-in-mongolia-by.html

Howard, Ebenezer. Garden Cities of To-morrow. London: Faber, 1974; original 1898.

Kahana, Freddy. “Neither Village Nor City.” eBookIt.com, 2015. Accessed December 14, 2018.  https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=r9VeCgAAQBAJ&pg=PP9&dq=Neither+Village+Nor+City&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjT5pL9-KPfAhXUFYgKHSZ_BQ0Q6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=Neither%20Village%20Nor%20City&f=false

Munkhnaran .S, Bazarkhand .TS, Chinbat .B, and Gantulga .G. “Green Belt Zoning for Ulaanbaatar City.” National University of Mongolia, School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography (2013). Accessed December 14, 2010, ISSN (Online): 2319-7064.

Worden, Robert L. and Andrea Matles Savada, eds. “Mongolia: A Country Study.” Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1989. Accessed December 14, 2018.  http://countrystudies.us/mongolia/

1 Comment on “Ideologies on the Green Corridor Plan (1975): the Garden Cities

  1. It’s very interesting to see the similarity and linkage between the Green Corridor plan in Ulaanbaatar and the Garden city plan. I am interested in knowing more about the difference between these two projects and the reasons behind with stress on the social context and the political issues as the Garden City planning is somehow restructuring the producer-consumer relationship and citizens’ lifestyle. In addition, I am very curious about the scope of the Green Corridor.As far as I know, large part of the Ulaanbaatar is left unplanned today (especially the ger area) and there’s great contrast of urban fabric of the central area and the residential area. Is the Green Corridor plan only limited in the central area for the higher and middle class or does it sprawl to the outer ring of the city, acting as a bridge between the two parts? How did it intervene with the urban layout and is it still functioning today?

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