Geddes was Victorian polymath. He was a radical, wildly eclectic and aspirational thinker about places, about communities, cities, cultures, histories, regions, nations, about the world. Geddes is probably best remembered for his pioneering work in planning cities. His theoretical ideas have influenced much subsequent planning practice, regional economic development and environmental management.

Perhaps Geddes himself understood the realm of EVOLUTION much better than what Darwin was able to explain it(evolution) to the world, because it was only GEDDES who first put forward the idea that not only the genetic structure and coding of a human cell evolves over a significantly much larger period of time but what also changes and also strongly influences the human race above all is the evolution of anthropology , mindset of people , cities and economy which happens in way shorter period of time than it takes for that genetic evolution thing.

Geddes studied biology as a student, took the profession of town planning by choice He conceived cities with the analogies of biology. He considered cities as organisms which like other organisms are bound to evolve. Geddes was one of the foremost people who suggested that town planning was an integrating theoretical and practical activity rather than simply a matter of laying down buildings and streets to glorify architecture and engineering which was mostly the case until then. (Glorifying architecture even became more pronounced in the postindustrial era and it really irked him as he himself was a contemporary of that era.) He well understood the fact that cities are like organisms and the inhabitants are like cells, and for the smooth physiological functioning of the organisms it is imperative that all cells in the organism collaboratively function well so that the organism as a whole functions well. He didn’t want that some healthy cells to kill, undermine or replace the other cells as it would result in cancerous growth of such (strong) cells and then it would need a doctor to get everything in place. If we extrapolate this ‘just now stated figure of speech’ or (The Theory) in the terminology of cities, it would have resulted in something which was totally opposed to the belief of GEDDES. He believed that as a doctor is always undesirable for humans, so is the government for the society. He believed that a government is only there to set things right, but in his theories or speech it is quite evident that in the very first place he never wanted things to go out of order. He wanted a system without government because he believed that cities like plants or organisms have that capability to prevent things falling apart when everything is going fine. So he wanted anarchy!!!! But of course in a good fashion. If we go further on to explain the previously stated metaphor he didn’t want and individual race for wealth in the cities, rather what he wanted was all races and cultures to come and work together for the collective wellbeing of each of them just like as in case of organisms different types of cells work together as a group for the proper upkeep and the functioning of the respective tissues and then in turn all the different tissues work together for the organism to function fine as a whole.

He vehemently derided the concepts of a Nation or a Country because he felt that dividing and governing a land on the basis of the personal ideologies of a government will not do the least good to the place which otherwise would give that city a fair chance to liaison with any other city in that specific REGION for the mutual betterment. In his famous Maharashtra Constellation Theory, he shows how five various cities of Maharashtra which were not politically, socially, economically, educationally came together in developing a whole REGION. He felt that creating boundaries will only create competition but as per his theories mutual co-operation was the need of the hour. His theories also gain much ground as at that time the entire world was war driven (World War I) after the industrial era had fully engulfed the world.

He also propounded the theory that the place, the people living in it and the work which they do in it are inseparable. In his famous Valley Section Diagram he tries to show how a place geomorphologically different from others is best suited for the people and their occupation already there. He was vary of the possibility that the government under the sheen of industrial era could encroach upon every bit of land without discretion, which would be catastrophic.

He also didn’t like the idea of demolishing something and then build something other on top of it. He felt that every piece of work that any individual is doing is adding to the continuous evolution of the city or the region. And every figment of the past entails something valuable and worth learning from in the future. He believed in the retention of by far anything (like monuments, old buildings etcetera.). He didn’t want anything to be uprooted from the city just for the sake of beautification purposes. He allowed gardens and recreational purposes in the city but only when there was no way out. He once made a statement “city is a drama in time not only a place in space”.

What we could decipher about this great personality is that he was a man completely grounded to humanitarian values in times when every other town planner was getting swayed away by the winds of capitalism in the postindustrial era. He wanted town planning to have an approach where the last individual gets positively affected. He wanted places in cities where not only the child and the elderly come together but also where the rich and the poor, the affluent and the under privileged come together.

Patrick geddes1Patrick Geddes2