Howard started in London as a clerk in the City and was formed from a coveted typists. This profession he practiced almost up to his death. During a stay in America ( 1872-1877 ), he met the poet Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson know and admire. Howard began about a better life and its realization think.
In 1898 he read Edward Bellamy's utopia Looking Backward, the reading of which was to determine his future life. She encouraged the British on to the idea of the garden city, which he outlined in his central work of Garden Cities of Tomorrow. In its eyes, this should be an independent city, not just a suburb to be. The garden city is after Howard's conception in the countryside and is both rural settlements and factories and all the cultural amenities accommodate. Howard's proposals go much further than what was often later built in Germany as the "Garden City ": His proposals were not just urban nature but also strongly influenced by social reformist ideas: land of the garden cities should be located to avoid speculation in commonly-owned investment income should flow into the community facilities that rents are kept low. Spatially floated him a system of several garden cities before with a central city of about 58 000 inhabitants and a ring of smaller garden cities with around 32 000 per inhabitants. The growth of cities should avoid green spaces. The plant of the garden cities themselves are shaped according to his model of ring-like residential areas around a "Central Park" as the center (radial - concentric type). Here are cultural institutions and the " Crystal Palace " is a covered shopping arcade which is likely to have had a role model in that of Joseph Paxton in 1855 proposed Great Victorian Way. Radial boulevards establish the link between the center and the residential areas with the surrounding landscape, a ring-shaped green " Grand Avenue " interrupts the residential rings. Outside there is an industrial belt and the railway line that connects the garden cities. Howard thought the Garden City as the third pole and balancing of opposites (antagonism ) ' of town and country, as well as in his name " Town - Country" is clear. This overall concept as opposed to the district "garden city" can be summed up under the term " town in the countryside ."
1899, the Garden City Association was founded. 1903 began with the practical implementation of ideas: Based on designs by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, the garden city of Letchworth was built. This influence after the First World War, the satellite cities ( New Towns ) England strong. Howard himself was but little convinced of Letchworth, the settlement it was too "green" and lacked his opinion on urban life; the population density remained below the level proposed by him and the large, green central square was not a true urban center. A new attempt he undertook with the Garden City Welwyn North London. Welwyn corresponded more closely to his ideas. Here he himself lived until his death in 1928.
In Germany Howard's garden city concept was, especially in regard to social reform ideas, most consistently in the first German Hellerau Garden City, a suburb (now neighborhood ) of Dresden enforced. Howard visited Hellerau in 1912 and declared impressed " Hellerau is not a mere imitation of the English garden cities [ ... ] In Hellerau clearly takes the effort out, the people build homes near their workplaces and to bring work near their homes. I confess that my Hellerau have really enjoyed both the internal arrangement of the houses as well as their grouping. I would also add that although we have many factories in Letchworth, no single one of them nearly as nice from the standpoint of the architect as the Germans workshops for craftsmanship in Hellerau. "
Howard has been involved for the international language Esperanto. During the 3rd World Congress in Cambridge in 1907, it has about 600 participants welcomed from all over the world, who had traveled by train. He explained in Esperanto, the concept of the garden city. The founder of Esperanto, Zamenhof, was invited as a special honor to take a ride in an automobile and came too late.
Howard said: ". Esperanto and the garden city are pioneers a new and better environment - an environment of peace and understanding [ ... ] Just as Esperanto more and more accepted, so also the idea of the garden city will spread. "
Howard's book Tomorrow. A Peaceful Path to Real Reform was established in 1880 and was not published until 1898. 1902 appeared a new edition of his book under the title Garden Cities of Tomorrow. ( German: garden cities in sight, Jena 1907)
In 1968 it was used as Volume 21 of the Bauwelt foundations reissued by Julius Posener (ed.): Ebenezer Howard. Garden Cities of Tomorrow. The book and its history. Bauwelt foundations Volume 21, Berlin Frankfurt / M. Vienna: Ullsteinhaus, 1968
Howard was knighted in 1927.