WHO WAS PATRICK GEDDES?
Sir Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was a lively and original thinker, a polymath of world significance, a botanist, biologist, town planner and landscape architect, and a pioneer in sociology, environmental education and the arts.Words he devised such as ‘conurbation’, ‘megalopolis’, and ‘habitat’ seemed revolutionary during his lifetime, but are now common currency. His injunction to “think global, act local” has become an environmental catch phrase. His insight that cities are constantly-evolving organic entities launched the urban and regional planning movement around the world. He was one of the first biologists to stress the prime importance of habitat in what would now be called ecology, using a method of survey and synthesis based on the principle of “Place-Work-Folk”.
Many organisations use Patrick Geddes’ name to boost their environmental credentials, but the Memorial Trust has a unique position as the ONLY institution which still has a direct connection back to Geddes himself. We promote the study of living society in its environment according to Geddes’ principles and practice. On our website you will find information about his life, work and lasting legacy.
AN OUTLOOK TOWER FOR THE 21st CENTURY
The original Outlook Tower in Edinburgh was Geddes’ physical embodiment and exposition of his ideas, drawing together the complex strands of his thinking in an exhibition space which was also an urban laboratory and research centre. The Trust’s origins are closely linked to the Outlook Tower, so it is appropriate that our website offers a virtual 21st century reinterpretation, setting out the key elements of his philosophy. Find out more by clicking on any of the links below.