Arturo Soria y Mata (1844-1920) is very well-known in the
Spanish-speaking world. His "linear city" ideas and model are
and contrasted with Ebenezer Howard's "garden city", and the two bodies
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
in Madrid in 1875, and according to his entry in Enciclopedia Universal
Ilustrada (Espasa-Calpe S.A., Madrid-Barcelona, 1927), "he invented
telephone networks". In 1894 he got initial approval for a "railway-tram"
loop-route linking Madrid with various surrounding towns and villages,
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
Flores, with a major biographical essay by Arturo Soria y Puig.
It includes a
very substantial historical review of linear city ideas by Collins,
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
out in March 1883 (15 years before Ebenezer Howard's rather different
He established the Compania Madrilena de Urbanizacion in 1892 as a
bring his first linear city around Madrid to fruition -- intended to
kilometers long, ringing the city, with a 7 kilometer radial connection
he had major problems selling sufficient shares in the company and
necessary capital. Nevertheless, construction began in 1894 and
kilometer section was completed in the 1910s -- a linear suburb of
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.
"Arturo Soria y la Ciudad Lineal" book can be borrowed Inter-Library
SUNY - New Paltz. George Collins' work is probably the key to
Ray Bromley, Dept. of Geography & Planning, SUNY-Albany, Earth Science
Albany, NY 12222, USA. Phone: 518-442-4766