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Oct 02

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October 2: Patrick Geddes

Sir Patrick Geddes (1854)

Sir Patrick Geddes

It was on this date, October 2, 1854, that the “father of town planning,” Scottish biologist Sir Patrick Geddes was born in Ballater in Aberdeenshire. He grew up in Perthshire, and studied variously at London, Paris, Edinburgh, and Montpellier Universities. Geddes traveled widely and taught physiology, zoology, botany, sociology, civics and natural history – becoming a radical only in the sense that unlike his contemporaries, Geddes believed humans prospered where there was fresh air, gardens and good housing.

His idealism – he envisioned a kind of European Union – led him to design many cities, frequently in India (1915-1929), and spread his ideas in the US and across Europe. Geddes was knighted in 1931. He died on 17 April 1932 in Montpellier, France. Sir Patrick Geddes was a Freethinker and an Honorary Associate of the British Rationalist Press Association (RPA).*

* Amelia D. Defries, The Interpreter Geddes, the Man and His Gospel. London: G. Routledge and Sons, 1927.

Originally published October 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

About the author

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Freethought Almanac was created by Ronald Bruce Meyer, in collaboration with freethoughtradio.com, in March 2003. What started with a brief notice on the birthday of Albert Einstein, grew into almost 250,000 words on not only biography but history, philosophy, theology and politics — one day at a time. Freethought Almanac looks at these daily subjects from a godless point of view, that is, a point of view that is based not on fantasies, delusions or wishful thinking, but a view that is evidence-based.

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