Think Global, Act Local: The Life and Legacy of Patrick Geddes

Luath Press Limited, 2015 - 140 páginas

Town planning. Interest-led, open-minded education. Preservation of buildings with historical worth. All are so central to modern society that our age tends to claim these notions as its own. In fact they were first visualised by Sir Patrick Geddes, a largely forgotten Victorian Scot and one of the greatest forward thinkers in history.

In turns a gardener, biologist, conservationist, social evolutionist and town planner, he spent many years conserving and restoring Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile at a time when most decaying buildings were simply torn down. With these plans of renovation came the importance of education - as the development of the Outlook Tower, his numerous summer schools and his Collège des Ecossais in Montpellier illustrate. It is in India where his name is most widely known. It was here that possibly the greatest example of Geddes' belief in 'people planning' can be seen and which took the form of pedestrian zones, student accommodation for women, and urban diversification projects in Edinburgh.

Indeed, his influence travelled around the world, through the people he met and inspired, and has survived after his death.

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Sobre el autor (2015)

Walter Stephen could not proceed beyond Geology I at Edinburgh University due to colour blindness - the analysis of crystals and subtle maps were hidden worlds for him. Degrees in Geography, Economic History and Education qualified him as an academic jack-of-all-trades with a lifelong devotion to environmental awareness and understanding. One of his achievements was the establishment and operation for twenty years of Castlehill Urban Studies Centre, the first successful Urban Studies Centre in Britain.

A former Chairman of the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust, he has been responsible for Learning from the Lasses, A Vigorous Institution and Think Global, Act Local, collections of essays on Patrick Geddes. In his introduction to the new edition of A Herd of Red Deer he brought out the importance of Frank Fraser Darling as the founder of ecology and forerunner of David Attenborough. In The Evolution of Evolution Walter Stephen sets Darwin at the centre of a circle of Interesting Victorians. All six books, plus his biography of Willie Park Junior: The Man who took Golf to the World and Walter's Wiggles were published by Luath Press.

Murdo Macdonald is Professor of History of Scottish Art at the University of Dundee and a former Trustee of the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust. He has lectured and written extensively on Geddes and in 1992 edited a special edition of the Edinburgh Review devoted to him.

Sofia Leonard is a Director of the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Trust. For ten years she was Director of the Patrick Geddes Centre for Planning Studies in the Outlook Tower. She has travelled in India investigating the legacy of Sir Patrick Geddes there.

Kenneth Maclean taught in Edinburgh and was a Lecturer in Moray House College of Education (now Faculty of Education, University of Edinburgh). Latterly he was Principal Teacher of Geography in Perth Academy (Patrick Geddes's school). He has an interest in the history of geography teaching. One of his textbooks - S1/S2 Geography - has an introductory chapter 'Introducing Place, People and Work', whereby more young people in Scotland have been introduced to Geddes than through the combined efforts of all the pgmt trustees and directors.

Narayani Gupta has written on the history of modern Delhi, and has taught students of history and architecture. Patrick Geddes's name came up frequently in discussions of urban history and modern planning, and many aspiring young architects showed tremendous interest in his ideas. It seems a good time to put some of them into practice.

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