chapter  1
12 Pages

Introduction

THERE HAS BEEN A RENEWAL OF INTEREST IN THE IDEAS and planning philosophy of Sir Patrick Geddes. Who was this man who pioneered a sociological approach to the study of urbanisation; who discovered that the city should be studied in the context of the region; who confidently predicted that the process of urbanisation could be analysed and understood; who believed that the application of such knowledge could shape future developments towards life-enhancement for all citizens? Inherent in all these beliefs was the central idea that social processes and spatial form are intimately related. Yet, as an evolutionary biologist, Geddes never underestimated the complexity of that relationship. His passionate, life-long concern was to unravel, as far as was humanly possible, the nature of these complexities, moving into areas outside the conventional limitations of the social sciences.