KBU International College
English Assignment FC 48
The London Square:
Gardens in the
Midst of Town
Todd Langstaffe Gowan
Modern-day London abounds with a multitude of gardens, enclosed by railings and surrounded by houses, which attest to the English love of nature. These green enclaves, known as squares, are among the most distinctive and admired features of the metropolis and are England's greatest contribution to the development of European town planning and urban form. Traditionally, inhabitants who overlooked these gated communal gardens paid for their maintenance and had special access to them. As such, they have long been synonymous with privilege, elegance, and prosperous metropolitan living. They epitomize the classical notion of rus in urbe, the integration of nature within the urban plan - a concept that continues to shape cities to this day.
Gowan presents a lot of interesting facts about the England, London which is really an educational experience and for sure will not leave unsatisfied even those who don’t like history lesson.
Squares are arguably London's most significant contribution to the development of urban form. Inspired by the Italian piazza, they were introduced in the 17th century as a way of creating open spaces at the center of London's new residential neighborhoods. But it was not until the following century that their gardens were enclosed and the gates locked against the "rudeness of the populace". Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, a landscape architect, detects the seeds of later urban trends in the emergence of these garden squares: "Squares and their surrounding residential districts were among the first expressions of the desire for class segregation, domestic isolation and private open space – aspirations that would later form the basis for suburban living both in Britain and abroad." It's hard to believe now, but before 1630 Leicester...
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