Vorgärten, Privative Green Spaces in Neustadt (Strasbourg, France). A Century of Practices in the Heart of the City

  • Cathy Blanc-Reibel
  • Olivier Haegel
Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)


The Neustadt, a “new town” which was erected in Strasbourg after the annexation of Alsace-Moselle by the German Empire (1871–1918), presents a typical urban design including small gardens. Vorgärten in the German language, literally “front garden”, are usually delimited at the front by the public road (sidewalk) at the back by the building, and on the sides by the boundaries. Integrated into the layout of public roads and particularly visible from the street, these gardens are privately owned and located on the property rights-of-way. Thus, in a few streets of urban extension, they form shallow green spaces (about 3 m) and border the facades of the buildings. Sanitary conditions in the city were indeed a new societal issue, which led to restructuring in urban planning models. The very history of the evolution of urban stakes is materialized in this specific area of Vorgarten and summarizes to some extent the intersections of public policies and habits. Thus, Vorgärten conceived in hygienist vein have undoubtedly evolved from their origin to our days. Our research allowed us to note the following two break points: On the one hand, the issues related to hygiene have been reconverted to those related to ecology—in this sense we can speak of mutation; on the other hand, their appropriation varies according to the frontier zones and the territorial characteristics within the Neustadt, between the busier and the more residential streets. Note that the degree of appropriation is decisive in maintaining the “green” dimension of these gardens. On this point, the fate of foster gardens is quite opposite to that of totally mineralized gardens. These concrete and significant examples have made it possible to highlight the evolution of these spaces.


Vorgarten Garden Hygienism Urban planning Strasbourg 


  1. Arnould P (2011) «Les espaces verts en ville» in Veyret Y et Le Goix R (dir.) Atlas des villes durables: écologie, urbanisme, société : l’Europe est-elle un modèle ? Paris, France, Autrement, pp 48–49Google Scholar
  2. Barles S (2011) «la ville et l’hygiénisme» in Veyret Y et Le Goix R (dir.) Atlas des villes durables: écologie, urbanisme, société : l’Europe est-elle un modèle ? Paris, France, Autrement, pp 18–19Google Scholar
  3. Barles S (2011/4) «Les villes transformées par la santé, XVIIIe - XXe siècles». In Les tribunes de la santé (n° 33), p 33Google Scholar
  4. Dubost F (1997) Les jardins ordinaires. L’Harmattan, 174 p (Logiques Sociales)Google Scholar
  5. Howard E (1898) To-morrow. A peaceful path to real reform. Swan Sonnenschein & Co., London, 176 pGoogle Scholar
  6. Jonas S (dir.) (2004) Les cités-jardins du Mitteleuropa: étude de cas de Strasbourg, Dresde, Wrocław et Budapest. M. Képek, BudapestGoogle Scholar
  7. Krieger J (1885) Topographie der Stadt Strassburg nach ärztlich-hygienischen Gesichtspunkten bearbeitet. C. F. Schmidt, Strassburg, 496 p (Archiv für öffentliche Gesundheitspflege in Elsass-Lothringen; 10)Google Scholar
  8. Lefebvre D (2017) Le quartier impérial de Strasbourg Historia, vol 842.érial-de-strasbourg
  9. Orth A (1878) Entwurf zu einem Bebauungsplan für Strassburg bearbeitet im Auftrag der Stadtverwaltung. E. A. Seemann, Leipzig, pl. III, fig. 3, 7Google Scholar
  10. Pérouse De Montclos J-M (2011) Architecture: description et vocabulaire méthodiques. Éditions du patrimoine, Centre des monuments nationaux, Paris, p 56 (Principes d’analyse scientifiqueGoogle Scholar
  11. Pottecher M (2010) «Jardin et urbanisme, 1870–2000». In Inventaire Général, Alsace. Jardins en Alsace: quatre siècles d’histoire. Lieux Dits, Lyon, p 94Google Scholar
  12. Pottecher M (2017) «La voirie, tracé et esthétique». In La Neustadt de Strasbourg: un laboratoire urbain/1871–1930. Éditions Lieux Dits, Lyon, p 190Google Scholar
  13. Quellier F (2004/3) «Le jardin fruitier-potager, lieu d’élection de la sécurité alimentaire à l’époque moderne». Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine (no 51-3), pp 66–78Google Scholar
  14. Rasmussen A (2001) «L’hygiène en congrès (1852–1912): circulation et configurations internationales». In Bourdelais P (dir.) Les hygiénistes: enjeux, modèles et pratiques. Belin, Paris, pp 213–239Google Scholar
  15. Veyret Y et Le Goix (dir.) (2011) Atlas des villes durables: écologie, urbanisme, société : l’Europe est-elle un modèle ?, Paris, France, Autrement, 87 pGoogle Scholar


  1. Archiv of the Eurométropole de Strasbourg.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dyname UMR 7367 and AMUP EA 7309University of Strasbourg, CNRSStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Service of the Inventory of the Cultural HeritageStrasbourgFrance

Personalised recommendations