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Sir Patrick Geddes Commemorative Lecture

Patrick GeddesRTPI Scotland holds an Annual Commemorative Lecture to advance Geddesian thinking and to stimulate debate and discussion on key issues in planning. The lecture is organised by RTPI Scotland and supported by the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust and the Saltire Society.

Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes is widely regarded as the founder of modern town planning. His interest in the natural sciences led him to a professorship at Dundee University in botany, after which he developed his interest in sociology and planning. He lived most of his life in Edinburgh during which he established the Edinburgh Social Union, promoted a wide range of sympathetic redevelopment and conservation schemes the length of the Royal Mile, largely for university residential accommodation, founded a publishing company, founded the Franco-Scottish Society, became a major sponsor of the arts, developed summer schools, promoted international festivals, published seminal texts such as "Cities in Evolution", spent time in India as Chair in Sociology at Bombay University, planned the Hebrew University at Jerusalem and finally retired to France where he founded the College des Ecossais in Montpellier. He was knighted in London in the year of his death.

Previous Lectures

2018  "The Participatory City" by Tessy Britton, Chief Executive, The Participatory City Foundation

2017  "Poverty, Places and Equality: A role for place based approaches?" by Naomi Eisenstadt, Independent Advisor to the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality. You can download the presentation slides here

2016  "Copenhagen: A City for People" by Tina Saaby, City Architect, Copenhagen

2015  "The Freiburg Approach to Sustainable Urbanism" by Wulf Daseking, Architect and former Chief Planning Officer for the City of Freiburg

2014  "Planning Matters, Building Resilience Through Risk Management – lessons from Australia" by Dyan Currie, National President of the Planning Institute of Australia and Manager of Strategic Planning and Economic Development, Toowoomba Regional Council, Queensland

2013  "Transition Towns and the Power of Just Doing Stuff" by Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Network.  You can hear Rob's lecture along with his slides here

2012  "Cities for People: Geddes' Legacy" by Professor Jan Gehl, Founding Partner of Gehl Architects in Copenhagen on "Cities for People: Geddes' Legacy".  You can see a video of the full lecture at

2011  "Cities and Food" by Carolyn Steel author of "Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives".  You can view a video of the lecture here

2010  "Sustainable Economic Development: towards the emerging Ecological Age" by Peter Head, Director, Arup. Read a summary of the lecture here

2009  "Sir Patrick Geddes and the Scottish Generalist Tradition" by Murdo MacDonald, Professor of History of Scottish Art, University of Dundee. Read the lecture here

2008  "The Biological Consequences of Living in Adverse Circumstances" by Harry Burns, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland

2007  "Wanted: Visionary Planners to Apply Levers for a Sustainable World" by Richard Wakeford, Director General, Environment, Scottish Executive. Read the lecture here

2006  "Planning and the public interest in the modern world" by Professor Greg Lloyd, School ofTown and Regional Planning,University of Dundee . Read the lecture here

2005  "Cities in Devolution" by Raymond Young, Chair, Architecture + Design Scotland. Read the lecture here

2004  "Sustainable Development Past and Present" by Jonathan Porritt. Read the lecture here