Patrick Geddes – the UK’s First Landscape Architect

Tom Turner, in a FOLAR/MERL lecture, argues that the principles of the landscape urbanism approach to planning and design grew from a long tradition and were assembled by Patrick Geddes. Watch the video and join the Youtube Comment section (below the video) at 1pm on Friday 15th May HERE

In the second half of the twentieth century there were taken further by Jaqueline Tyrwhitt and Ian McHarg’s overlay approach and supplemented by ideas drawn from structuralist philosophy. Geddes and McHarg represent a key strand in landscape architecture , distinct from the strand that comes from gardens. Patrick Geddes was the first European to call himself a ‘landscape architect’ in Frederick Law Olmsted’s sense. He was the author of a great book, on Cities in Evolution, and is seen as the most important town and regional planning theorist of the twentieth century. Ian McHarg, also a Scot and also born near the Highland Boundary Fault, was greatly influenced by Geddes and drew upon his ideas when writing the most widely read landscape architecture book of the twentieth century: Design with Nature (1969). The work of Geddes and McHarg is now a central strand in landscape and ecological planning.

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