Arturo Soria y Mata (1844-1920) is very well-known in the
Spanish-speaking world.  His "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.
        Soria y Mata was born in Madrid, lived in Madrid much of his life, and
died in La Ciudad Lineal, a linear streetcar suburb of Madrid that he and his
associates created as a pilot "linear city".  He established the first tramline
in Madrid in 1875, and according to his entry in Enciclopedia Universal
Ilustrada (Espasa-Calpe S.A., Madrid-Barcelona, 1927), "he invented urban
telephone networks".  In 1894 he got initial approval for a "railway-tram" in a
loop-route linking Madrid with various surrounding towns and villages, and he
was also an advocate of a subway system for Madrid.
        Soria y Mata established a magazine on urbanism called "La Ciudad
Lineal", and he published booklets called "Ferrocarril-tranvia de
circunvalacion" (1892) and "La ciudad lineal" (1894).
        There is a very substantial book in Spanish called "Arturo Soria y la
Ciudad Lineal ", published in 1968 by Ediciones de la Revista de Occidente,
Madrid --- edited by George R. Collins (of Columbia University) and Carlos
Flores, with a major biographical essay by Arturo Soria y Puig.  It includes a
very substantial historical review of linear city ideas by Collins, some of
which are very close to contemporary transit oriented development.
        Soria y Mata's linear city was intended to "ruralize the city and
urbanize the countryside", and his first article developing these ideas came
out in March 1883 (15 years before Ebenezer Howard's rather different thesis).
He established the Compania Madrilena de Urbanizacion in 1892 as a means to
bring his first linear city around Madrid to fruition -- intended to be 48
kilometers long, ringing the city, with a 7 kilometer radial connection -- but
he had major problems selling sufficient shares in the company and raising the
necessary capital.  Nevertheless, construction began in 1894 and one 5
kilometer 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.

        On a personal note, I hope others will provide more information on
Soria y Mata and on available publications on his ideas and impact.  The
"Arturo Soria y la Ciudad Lineal" book can be borrowed Inter-Library Loan from
SUNY - New Paltz.  George Collins' work is probably the key to the
English-language literature.

Ray Bromley, Dept. of Geography & Planning, SUNY-Albany, Earth Science 218,
Albany, NY 12222, USA.  Phone: 518-442-4766     Fax: 518-442-4742