Nineteenth-Century Voluntary Organisations and Urban Green Spaces

Dr Clare Hickman (University of Bristol)
22 May 2011

History SPOT blog post
The nineteenth century saw the emergence of the movement to provide green spaces within urban centres. These spaces took many forms and encompassed churchyards, cemeteries, public parks and gardens, and even hospital gardens. This paper will look at the voluntary groups involved in the design and maintenance of such spaces including voluntary hospital boards and societies such as the Kyrle Society and the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association (MPGA). It will also explore interrelationships between the aims of these groups and their practice. For example, did the Kyrle Society get involved in the maintenance of hospital gardens and did ideas about health and convalescence behind the use and design of hospital gardens also inform the MPGA? These groups will also be considered in terms of the overall design and construction of the nineteenth-century city and their facilitation of the growth of middle-class ideals such as civic pride as well as their philanthropic objectives.

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