Sunday 13 November 2011

Patrick Geddes: Global Finance and Planetary Ecology

It is not just Geddes’ historical importance but the relevance of his

vision for us here and now.

"How many people think twice about a leaf? Yet the leaf is the chief product

and phenomenon of Life: this is a green world, with animals comparatively

few and small, and all dependent upon the leaves. By leaves we live. Some

people have strange ideas that they live by money. They think energy is

generated by the circulation of coins. But the world is mainly a vast leafcolony,

growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass: and we

live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of our harvests."

Geddes final lecture to Dundee students, 1918

Geddes explains the current state of the global economy is a reminder that it is not wise

to define the needs of the planet as though money were more important than the realities of the lives to which that money is meant to relate.

Geddes final lecture comments on both global finance and a profound understanding of planetary ecology.

Some bankers are now trying to use natural systems to understand how to design sustainable business and a sustainable banking system.

Could my device help to inspire this discovery?

In the end it is vegetation and other resources, not money, which is the issue. In that same lecture Geddes reflects on the

interdependence of arts and sciences and how each should inform the other

and it is this interdisciplinary approach to thinking relating to town planning.

This generalist view gives insight into his approach to planning. For Geddes,

city planning risks losing touch with the communities, cities and regions that it

sets out to serve, if it does not take a multiplicity of approaches into account.

this summary of his philosophy of planning is represented in these words of his:

‘Town-planning is not mere place-planning, nor even work-planning. If it is

to be successful it must be folk-planning.’ Patrick Geddes

What Geddes meant by this was that what was needed was a full

appreciation of the cultural, historical and geographical antecedents of a

community, and furthermore the capacity to enable that community to be

fully aware of those antecedents. That’s why his cultural revival was at the

heart of his Edinburgh planning effort. It wasn’t an add-on extra, it was a

condition of successful development.

It is all about understanding how the world works and the relationship to how everything is connected and effect each other which my device could enable people to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment