Garden Festivals are more than temporary horticultural expositions. Complex and phased, these projects have additional significance as planning stratagems, reclamation projects, public art venues, and precursors of new urban parks. Their scope extends well beyond that implied by the term ‘garden festival’. Typically exceeding 50 hectares, they stimulate development and steer site design through a unique merger of domestic garden culture with a large-scale urban project. A general discussion of the origins, formative elements and chronology of the generic event followed by cross-cultural reviews and analyses of numerous recent festivals and their site legacies form the core of this first comprehensive book on the subject. Recent installations have been responsive to the ascendance of open space as a critical planning element while forthcoming events now develop in the midst of a trend towards the holistic initiatives of urban landscape planning, giving them a renewed relevance for urban design. The author has explored over fifteen festival sites and documents this study using government reports, interview transcripts, thematic maps, master plans, and other primary source material.
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