A garden city in the sense of the network's founding charter is characterized by the following qualities:
- A garden city is based on an overall urban design with a graduated system of street layout, with a high degree of greening and public and communal provision facilities;
- An artistic, social or life-reforming approach was associated with the founding of the garden city;
- The garden cities of the network are characterized by a special urban planning, architectural and/or cultural-historical significance; this can/should be expressed in a protected status according to the monument protection law;
- The garden city was originally an administratively independent city or at least an independent district (garden suburb);
- A garden city has a dominant, generous green system with public and private green (house gardens);
- The land was originally owned by a non-profit corporation/cooperative with the goal of eliminating land speculation
- The land and houses were originally leased to residents on a ground rent basis for a small rent;
- A garden city combines the aspects of living and working and ideally also culture into a high-quality urban living space.
- The garden city is connected to the core city by public transport;
- The residents/citizens of a garden city are aware of the specific qualities of their garden city and recognize the preservation and maintenance as their task.
Not all of these criteria established by Muthesius will still be able to apply to garden cities in the present day. However, a garden city in the context of our network should clearly stand out from "green villa suburbs" and these criteria may serve as a guideline for inclusion in the network.