Sir Patrick Geddes (1854)
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.
(The following is a transcript of a LIVE broadcast by John Mill, the radio persona of Ronald Bruce Meyer. “This Week In Freethought” airs on the American Heathen® internet radio show. Air date of this particular segment: 04/14/12) Here’s your Week in Freethought History: This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies […]