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The Linear City of Arturo Soria Y. Mata

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Nasim Alashqar

on 24 December 2013

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Transcript of The Linear City of Arturo Soria Y. Mata

Nasim Y. Alashqar

Linear City :: La Ciudad Lineal

Arturo Soria Y. Mata

Thank you ....
The Failure of “Linear City”:
Instructor: Dr. Jerry Kolo

Arturo Soria Y. Mata was born in Madrid in 1844, lived in Madrid most of his life and died in La Ciudad Lineal in 1920. He was an architect, an engineer and, the main developer of the theory of linear planning of cities (Linear City / La Ciudad Lineal) in the late 19th century.

From 1886, he devoted his life to his project “Linear City“. He was the first of a series of planners who have refused the conventional city nucleus for an extended type of regional plan which assumes that surface transportation is such a basic organizational factor in modern living that we must arrange ourselves and our activities along its routes

The Linear City :
A Model of A Sustainable City?
In a series of articles from 1882 onward, Soria theorised a single developed strip in the north east of Madrid City of no more than 500 metres in width, with a central tram and roadway and residential and commercial plots on either side of stipulated size and separated by smaller streets, at the intersections of which there would be kiosks and shops, and in the centre of which there would be schools, hospitals, courtrooms and so on as need determined

The Distinctive Characteristics of “Linear City”:

1. No point in the city would be more than a few hundred metres from the countryside.

2. Moreover, this five hundred metre strip could be as long as humanity required.

The Objectives of “Linear City”:
1. Unwind the city of Madrid by ruralize the city and urbanize the countryside.

2. Turn Madrid into a more human city, a city which was closer to nature.

3. Solve some of the problems that Madrid had at that time: transportion, over-population and sanitary conditions.

His Achievements in “Linear City”:
In terms of services, he established a number of new services and brought back some others existing
2. Exisitng Services Enhancement:
1. New Services:
1. A) He established a transportation network by founding the first tramline at Madrid in 1875, streetcar connections within the city and also was an advocate of a subway system to connect Madrid City with its suburbs.
1. B) He invented the urban telephone networks.

1. C) He introduced the electric light and the steam heat to the city.
Therefore, the city had become an interlacing of lines and transportation networks.

2. A) He provided a space for vegetable gardens and also for groceries

2.B) Moreover, he paid attention to leisure, cultural and sport activities.

Sport Facilities
School: Colegio de Huérfanos de la Armada
The Industrial Revolution Problems
There were two different theories to solve these problems:
1. Naturistic Theory:
The aim was that each house should have a garden and an orchard.
2. Hygienist Theory:
The objective was to improve the sanitary conditions of the city.
- Build wider streets and
- Build detached or semi-detached houses.

BUT the most important objective was to combine nature and city.
In terms of order:
1. Detached and
2. Semi-detached Houses

Therefore, the new houses were designed to provide every family with its own house, for each house an orchard and garden,

Moreover, Property prices was Soria’s slogan as well that would not fall off in a radiating manner from extremely expensive center points but would lower gradually from central street to nearby side street areas and the low-density individual holdings.

Types of Houses
An Example of Houses in “Linear City”:
The middle-class house:
Living room
Indoor gardens
The Similarity between
Arturo Y. Mata & Ebenezer Howard Utopias
The linear city ideas and model are often compared and contrasted with Ebenezer Howard's "garden city", and the two bodies of writing and pilot projects are roughly contemporary, although his first article developing these ideas came out in March 1883 (15 years before Ebenezer Howard's rather different thesis).

Soria's plan anticipated a number of the features of Ebenezer Howard's later Garden City, such as the insulating zones of vegetation and the low-density individual holdings.

The Foundation of Arturo’s Company
In 1892 Soria managed to found a company, buy some land to the East of Madrid, and start work on his tramway. The initial plan was for a 55km belt running North to South which would act as an attractor for suburban development.

The company was a mean to bring his first linear city around Madrid to fruition - Nevertheless, construction began in 1894 and one 5 kilometre section was completed in the 1910s - a linear suburb of fairly dense low-rise housing all along the axis of a combined railway / tramway / boulevard.

Summing up its theory in a series of simple principles and comparing it to other systems of urbanism.

Compañía Madrileña de Urbanización was the company in charge of “Linear City” project
The ten principles cited by the Company as its 'Rational Architecture of Cities are:

1. From the problem of locomotion derive all the other problems in urbanization.
2. The plan of the city must precede its construction.
3. Regular geometrical forms of street, sand of blocks of houses are to be preferred for their fineness, convenience, and less costly nature.
4. The land should be divided so as to apportion one-fifth for houses and four-fifths for cultivated area.
5. Houses should be independent and separated: one house for each family, and an orchard and a garden for each house.
6. There should be a distance of five meters maintained between house and street.
7. Modern linear cities should be designed as connectors between the point-cities of the past, covering the countryside
8. At difficult points where obstacles are met in the course of the development of a Ciudad Lineal it should reduce itself to the width necessary to lay its tracks and if necessary go elevated or underground.
9. The return to Nature: an exodus from cities will take place in order to settle abandoned lands, thus reversing the present danger of population movement from country to city.
1o. The linear city plan will accomplish an equitable distribution of land

After the death of Arturo Soria, Madrid City went through a period of economical crisis. Due to this, the original idea was changed.
“Linear City” of Today:
The demographic boom of Madrid, the rise of prices and the proximity of linear city to the city centre put an end to the project.
Appreciation & Horoning
 - The main street of his “Linear City” holded his name.

 - A Statue of Arturo placed in Arturo Soria Street.

 - An underground station called “Linear City: La Ciudad Lineal”.

In terms of layout:
Three different layouts were proposed so that Arturo let the architects free to build different models of houses in order to avoid monotony

 http://thedabbler.co.uk/2012/02/norbiton-linear-city/

 http://www.arch.mcgill.ca/prof/sijpkes/arch528/fall2001/lecture12/soria.html

 Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 18, No. 2 (May, 1959), pp. 38-53Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians

 Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Oct., 1959), pp. 74-93Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians

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