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Lusaka: New Capital and the Imperial Garden City Movement

Lusaka: New Capital and the Imperial Garden City Movement The colonial Garden City Movement represents the culmination of a whole sequence of relationships between botany and imperialism that had developed from the seventeenth century onwards, but particularly in the Victorian era. Botany was central to the transnationality of imperialism and botanical exploration while plant collecting fed into many Victorian phenomena in Britain which also had their colonial counterparts. These were intended to alleviate the social, environmental and medical evils of industrialism, providing a closer interaction between the rural and the urban. They included the creation of green belts, the founding of model villages, the emergence of municipal public parks and botanical gardens, and finally the garden city movement. By these means it was intended that industrial (and sometimes rural) workers should experience a healthier lifestyle, as well as a social uplift which would mitigate class conflict while also providing rational recreation. In the export of garden city ideas to the British Empire, there were additionally significant colonial precedents in street tree planting and in the beautification movement of the Victorian era and early twentieth century. This article specifically focuses upon the translation of aspects of this garden city movement and of these other influences into the creation of the new capital of Lusaka in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in the twentieth century and the manner in which a great diversity of both indigenous and exotic plants were used to express the idealistic characteristics of this urban development while also reflecting the social and racial norms inherent in the colonial relationship. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Britain and the World Edinburgh University Press

Lusaka: New Capital and the Imperial Garden City Movement

Britain and the World , Volume 16 (2): 22 – Sep 1, 2023

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2043-8567
eISSN
2043-8575
DOI
10.3366/brw.2023.0404
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The colonial Garden City Movement represents the culmination of a whole sequence of relationships between botany and imperialism that had developed from the seventeenth century onwards, but particularly in the Victorian era. Botany was central to the transnationality of imperialism and botanical exploration while plant collecting fed into many Victorian phenomena in Britain which also had their colonial counterparts. These were intended to alleviate the social, environmental and medical evils of industrialism, providing a closer interaction between the rural and the urban. They included the creation of green belts, the founding of model villages, the emergence of municipal public parks and botanical gardens, and finally the garden city movement. By these means it was intended that industrial (and sometimes rural) workers should experience a healthier lifestyle, as well as a social uplift which would mitigate class conflict while also providing rational recreation. In the export of garden city ideas to the British Empire, there were additionally significant colonial precedents in street tree planting and in the beautification movement of the Victorian era and early twentieth century. This article specifically focuses upon the translation of aspects of this garden city movement and of these other influences into the creation of the new capital of Lusaka in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in the twentieth century and the manner in which a great diversity of both indigenous and exotic plants were used to express the idealistic characteristics of this urban development while also reflecting the social and racial norms inherent in the colonial relationship.

Journal

Britain and the WorldEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2023

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