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Patrick Geddes in India, 1869-1924

Identifier: Coll-1167/G

Scope and Contents

In 1914 Patrick Geddes was invited by Lord Pentland, a friend and patron, who was by then the Governor of the Madras Presidency, to tour Geddes' Cities and Town Planning Exhibition in India. The overall aim was for Geddes to develop the study and practice of the city survey and to advise on the vast problems of social and civic improvement apparent at that time. Geddes travelled to India in the autumn of 1914. He is undestood to have completed around 50 city surveys during his 10 years in India. The Cities and Town Planning Exhibition was shipped on the SS Clan Grant with Patrick Geddes and his eldest son, Alasdair, travelling separately. The SS Clan Grant was attacked by the German SMS Emdem and was sunk 150 miles south-west of Mumbai (Bombay) on 16 October 1914. Geddes' friend and colleague the architect H.V. Lanchester headed a committee to reconvene as much as possible of the Cities and Town Planning Exhibition and sent this out to Geddes in India in late 1914. The replacement exhibition then toured India before being installed at the University of Bombay, where Geddes was appointed the inaugural Chair of Civics and Sociology in 1919. Geddes remained in India until 1924, when he relocated to Montpellier, France. Geddes' work in India ran counter to the received European and British ideas and schemes for town planning which mostly ignored the indigenous peoples' traiditional building methods, customs and lifestyles.


  • Creation: 1869-1924

Language of Materials

From the Fonds:








80 map

27 glass plate negative

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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