Artistic Urban Design and Cultural Myths: the Garden City Idea in Nordic countries, 1900-1925

Heleni Porfyriou


This paper focuses on the urban design quality of early twentieth century garden city and suburb developments in Nordic countries, stressing the significance of national sentiment on matters of architecture and design. The first section offers a brief overview of the political and cultural background of Nordic countries in order to reveal the impact, throughout the nineteenth century, of specific cultural myths on the formation of national consciousness, as well as their role in the formulation of an urban design strategy based on the ideals of artistic city building and community building. Next, through a morphological analysis, the artistic quality of some representative examples of garden city and suburb developments selected from all four countries is illustrated. In this context, Stockholm's land policy and Eliel Saarinen's plan for Greater Helsinki are given particular attention.

Porfyriou, H. “Artistic urban design and cultural myths: the Garden City idea in Nordic countries, 1900-1925.” Planning Perspectives 7, no. 3 (1992): 263-302.

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