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Sir Frederic James Osborn (1885–1978) was a leading member of the UK Garden city movement and was chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association. He lived in Welwyn Garden City, the garden city he helped create, and a local school (Sir Frederic Osborn School) was named after him in 1968.


Born in 1885 in London, he left school at 15 for a job as an office boy. He attended night-school, and joined the Fabian Society.

In 1912, he took a job as secretary-manager of the Howard Cottage Society in Letchworth Garden City, founded by Ebenezer Howard. In 1919, Howard purchased land for a second garden city at Welwyn, and Osborn moved with him to become Company Secretary and Estate Manager.

He left the company in 1936, and devoted the rest of his life to promoting the garden city movement.


  • Frederic J. Osborn, Green-Belt Cities (first published 1946)
  • Frederic J. Osborn & Arnold Whittick, New Towns (1978) ISBN 0-249-44140-3
  • The letters of Lewis Mumford and Frederic J. Osborn: A transatlantic dialogue, 1938-70 ISBN 0-239-00099-4


  • Whittick, A. (1987) FJO, practical idealist: a biography of Sir Frederic Osborn, Town and Country Planning Association, London.
  • Denis Hardy, History of the TCPA 1899-1999