Aspiring to reunite cities with nature, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City and Ebenezer Howard’s Garden city remain in the history of architecture as utopian forms of urbanism, in an era when industrialization produced radical social changes and, as a direct consequence, affected the appearance, size and conditions of the urban settlements. Although similar as far as their aims are concerned, they represent different approaches, which lead to distinct scenarios of living, including the benefits of modern technology while still seeking independence from the inconveniences of the industrialized areas.
On the one hand, the ideas of both Broadacre City and the Garden City emerge from the same reason: industrialization led to massive expansion and densification of the cities, generating unsuitable conditions of living for a great part of the population. As a result, attempts were made to formulate new ways of building, suited for the aspects of the modern world. 
The proposals made by Frank Lloyd Wright and Ebenezer Howard both appeared as a reaction against the polluted, overcrowded industrial cities. With the purpose of uniting the advantages of country and the city, both theories were based on a low density of buildings and integrated large areas of vegetation. Another common aspect is that they took advantage of the new means of transport and communication made possible by the unprecedented technological improvements. 
Improving the relationship between the State and the city dwellers constitutes one more attempt to be approached by both theories. Being more than an architectural response, the two proposals aimed to generate a social change by offering better ways of living.
On the other hand, there are multiple differences between the two, leading to distinct urban landscapes and life scenarios. Wright’s urban proposal was conceived as an architectural representation for the Usonia – “an egalitarian culture that would spontaneously emerge in the United States”, while Howard’s city had a more general application.
In terms of implementation, Broadacre city was expected to appear spontaneously, while the Garden City implied the State for disposing large areas of land and building according to a clearly defined structure. Furthermore, Wright’s utopian views are far more vague in the sense of further development of the city. Disposing a unit of one acre of land for each man to cultivate his own food, it aims at the dissolution of the traditional city within the country. This individualistic and decentralized approach leaves some questions unanswered, basing itself on the harmonious development that would occur within the Usonian society. In comparison, the Garden city is centralized, Howard offering a solution to avoid the uncontrolled expansion of the city in the land by creating a cluster of cities with a limited number of inhabitants, so being able to preserve the qualities and country land of every one of them. Regarding the architectural style in which to build the proposed cities, Wright advocates for an organic style, able to generate “a myriad of forms”. However, Howards’s Garden City does not include a particular style.
The way of transport is another distinct factor between the two approaches. While Howard’s theory was based on a fast and efficient railway system, Wright saw the automobile as the main means of transport in Broadacres, with the alternative of air transport that he expected to be developed in short time. Multiple-lane highways and a car for every dweller represent, in Wright’s opinion, the solution for a safe and enjoyable travel experience, railway transport being reserved for industrial purposes rather than people. Howard offers a different perspective, considering the railway system as the most efficient means of transport for both industrial and residential areas.
Yet another contrast between the two proposals is the relationship between the state institutions and the citizens. Broadacre city attempts to simplify the previous administration system, reducing it to a small government for each county, and, at the same time, to turn politics into a vital matter to everyone. A social structure composed of elemental units is presented as a solution for ending the unemployment. On the other hand, the Garden City proposal doesn’t focus on a change in the politic realm, actually stating the implication of the Government to be of utmost importance in building the new garden cities.
The contrasting features of the two proposals showed up in their practical application as well. Letchworth Garden city was the only city buit entirely on Howard’s principles, started in 1903. However, the Garden City model was later applied for the suburban areas, beginning in 1906 with Hampstead Garden Suburb, projected and built by Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker. These suburbs, though appealing and successful, distanced themselves from the original principles of the Garden City. Broadacre city, however, remained an utopia, but it anticipated the process of urban sprawl, which nowadays constitutes a problem for the expanding cities.
In conclusion, the two proposals left a significant mark in the history of urbanism, generating ideas that were later applied in diverse contexts. Though presenting different visions on the lifestyle and the relationship between the industry and society, both urbanistic models aimed to upgrade the living conditions of their times and reunite cities with nature. In my opinion, these cases put forward a question which recurrently enters the stage of architectural theory: is architecture just a consequence of its times or can it impose the further development of society?
Frampton, Kenneth, Modern Architecture – a critical history, London: Thames and Hudson, 1985.
Howard, Ebenezer, Garden Cities of Tomorrow, London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1902
Wright, Frank Lloyd, “Broadacre City”, Architectural Record vol. 7 (April 1935)
Zahariade, Ana Maria, Lecture on the course Arhitectură-Locuire-Oraș, Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, 2017
 Frampton, Kenneth, Modern Architecture – a critical history, p. 20
 “Individuality established on such terms must thrive. Unwholesome life would get no encouragement. […] The old success ideals having no chance at all, new ones more natural to the best in man would be given a fresh opportunity to develop naturally.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
 “The problem with which we have now to deal, shortly stated, is this: How to make our Garden City experiment the stepping stone to a higher and better form of industrial life generally throughout the country.” – Ebenezer Howard
 According to Wright, cars, radio, telephone, telegraph and standard machine shop production were essential resources in shaping the Broadacre City, while, in Howard’s view, the analogy to the progress of the railway system would help in the development of the Garden City.
 Frampton, Kenneth, op. cit., p. 187
 Kenneth Frampton notices a contradiction in the implementation of Wright’s proposal, between the necessity to consciously establish the new system and the assumption that the change would happen spontaneously. – op. cit, p. 190
 “In Broadacres, by elimination of cities and towns the present curse of petty and minor officialdom, government, has been reduced to one minor government for each county.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
 Zahariade, Ana Maria, Lecture, Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, 2017