Patrick Geddes’ Contribution to Sociology and Urban Planning
Vision of A City
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This book explores Patrick Geddes’s significant contributions to urban planning and sociology. His vision of the city, rooted in the principles of social development and preservation of cultural and ecological resources, has inspired generations of urban planners, architects and social scientists engaged with contemporary urban issues.
The book discusses Geddes’ early experiments with urban renewal in Edinburgh, the famous Cities and Town Planning Exhibition and his work in India for the improvement of cities and towns with minimal financial and human cost. It examines the theoretical underpinnings of his ideas in relation to issues such as better housing and health; the preservation of history and culture; the role of a citizen; university and urban renewal; and the contemporary urban ecological crisis among others. Furthermore, it looks at the question of sustainability in the context of Geddes’ vision of a more humane, social, natural, and aesthetic town and city.
A comprehensive review of Patrick Geddes’s ideas, this book underlines the relevance of his work to contemporary urban concerns and issues, especially in India. It will be of interest to scholars and researchers of sociology, urban studies, city planning, urban sociology, architecture, human geography, urban geography, settlement studies, development studies and environmental sustainability.
Table of Contents
Preface Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Early Experiments in Urban Renewal 3. Indian Experience: A Giant Step Ahead 4. Planning for Better Housing and Health 5. Towards Preservation of Nature and Culture: Role of the Citizen 6. Education for Citizenship: University and Urban Renewal 7. Remembering Geddes: Contemporary Urban Ecological Crisis and Citizens’ Initiatives Appendix Bibliography
Indra Munshi is Professor of Sociology at the University of Mumbai, India. Her areas of interests are development studies, tribal studies, sociology of environment and the sociology of tourism.
‘Indra Munshi's book on Patrick Geddes was a long-awaited event and should be celebrated by lovers of the city and urban life. She unravels nuances about the polymath sociologist as never before. Here, Geddes is contextualised in his roles as an urbanist, an educationist and a champion of the environment. Munshi's incisive critique of current environmental depredations, especially in Mumbai, validate Geddes' concerns for urban change, debunking some commonly held notions about urban planning and renewal.’
Professor Mustansir Dalvi, Sir J. J. College of Architecture, Mumbai.
‘This book should be read by anyone interested in the study of Civics, a civics that prioritises the life and working of the city and is seen to be an order beneath which urban planning, architecture and all economic, legal and administrative matters operate. Munshi has put together scholarly and critical insights from a range of Geddes literature that enables both the Geddesian and non-Geddesian to understand his particular version of a biopolitical city. The socio-ecological foundations of the Indian city that Geddes first began to nurture a hundred years ago are outlined whilst underscoring the lessons for every city in our current ecologically vulnerable world.’
Dr Dorian Wiszniewski, Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh.
‘This is a comprehensive introduction to the amazingly perceptive and far-sighted work of Patrick Geddes, the pioneer sociologist, urban planner, ecologist and civic activist from Edinburgh who made Bombay his home. Capturing Geddes work and insights which have urgent relevance for today’s dystopian urbanism and environmentally destructive development pathways, Prof. Munshi offers a biography that is much more – drawing lessons for contemporary ecological crisis, providing a rigorous critique of neoliberal solutions, and serving as a resource for education, participatory urban planning, and resistance to unsustainable development.’
Professor D. Parthasarathy, Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT, Bombay.