Now on show an early copy of the Kelmscott Edition which belonged to Morris’s secretary



Torre Huerta in Valencia by the Dutch company MVRDV



Harmonia 57 office in Sao Paolo by Triptyque. Image courtesy of Nelson Kon

From Garden City to Green City 09/11 - 04/12

Going ‘green’ in the city:
From Garden City to Green City

Ever since the Victorians first longed to introduce more ‘green’ into their congested and polluted cities we have been striving for a better urban way of life.

From Garden City to Green City, explores the many visions, designs and projects that have inspired the ‘green city’ movement over the last 150 years. From the Victorian pioneers determined to improve living conditions in post-Industrialised Britain, to today’s ground-breaking landscape architects transforming our urban centres, the exhibition considers whether our current enthusiasm for eco-living and seasonality can make a lasting change.

The exhibition re-visits a time when areas like Brixton and Waterloo could be depicted as rural idylls - this green signature underlying London inspired the designer William Morris and the novelist Richard Jefferies to imagine a future in which nature takes over. It tells the story of the very first ‘garden cities’ in Letchworth and looks at their legacy in the town planning of the 20th century. It traces the impact of the Second World War and the wild flower meadows that sprang up in former bomb sites. It considers the work of contemporary visionaries  such as Triptyque, whose green-walled office building in Sao Paolo is designed to collect, filter and mist water.

From Garden City to Green City opens the door on the many private green spaces that have been created by individuals, such as a London house with a wildflower meadow and insect hotel on its roof. It also considers the impact of community movements like ‘guerilla gardening’ and ‘meanwhile gardens’ like Eastern Curve in Dalston.   And, with our increased awareness about modern food production it looks at the many experimental projects that have sprung up in recent years. From small, local projects like Farm: Shop, Dalston, or the Edible Bus Stop scheme  in London to the transformation of a disused industrial building into an indoor farm called The Plant in Chicago, which is putting into practice one solution for tackling the ‘food miles’ problem.

The exhibition brings together books, works of art, photographs, design drawings, maps, diagrams and films to tell the story of the green city movement over the last 150 years.

The accompanying talks programme has been programmed by the Landscape Institute.

The exhibition is designed by Found Associates.

In keeping with the green spirit of the theme, the majority of the exhibition has been made from recycled  materials and those which can be returned to source or reused by the Garden Museum.

Every Londoner should see the Green Cities exhibition

                        -  Lucy Scott, editor, Lost in London

 The exhibition ran in the temporary exhibition space from September 2011 to April 2012.

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